James Collins was delighted with the attitude on display by the senior members of the Wolves side who dropped down into his under-21 team for their victory over Doncaster on Tuesday night.
Fabio Silva, John Ruddy, Marcal and Ki-Jana Hoever all helped the development side to a win which secured their place in the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy, and Collins was pleased with not only the performances, but the professionalism showed by those players, including the way they helped and supported the younger and more inexperienced members of the squad.
On picking up the win at Doncaster
“I’m obviously delighted to win the game. To come to a place like Doncaster, I think they’re an excellent side, I’ve watched them two or three times this season, are going to be right up there in League One this year, play terrific football and have dangers all over the pitch.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge, and it was a massive help having Fabio, Marcal, John and Ki-Jana down with us and adding them to our young players was a good mix.
“Having a focal point up front was a big help, so it was a good evening for our players to learn off the senior ones. It was an enjoyable game, a good win, and good to come off on the right side.”
On making it into the next round
“I thought it was a long shot because Oldham played on Sunday in the cup and I thought they might have had a weaker team out tonight because they’ve won the group already, but they’ve gone to Bradford and won 3-1, which is terrific for us.
“It’s just great to have another game in this competition. You don’t look too far ahead, but obviously it ends at Wembley which would be something unbelievable for young players to experience. Each game at this level gives us a challenge and allows our players to see how they would do out in the league.
“It’s great to go through, but it’s all about players developing and the more games we can have like this will speed up their development process, so the further we can go in this competition, the better.”
On the goalscoring threat of Fabio Silva
“Goalscorers do make a difference – that’s why they get the big bucks. I haven’t seen a lot of him before tonight, but I was really impressed with how enthused he was to play in this game and his attitude in training yesterday was magnificent.
“He was just as enthusiastic about the defending as he was about the attacking, which is very much the same when you watch our first-team centre-forward, and then, he could take his chances.
“I thought his two finishes were excellent, and I also thought his little turn on the edge of the box before he hit one over the bar was top-class play.
“I’m delighted for him, he’s off and running, and delighted for our boys to learn off and play with a player like that.”
On Silva’s positive attitude
“We all know he’s got talent, but you always wonder when they drop down to this level, do they really want to do it?
“They really want to be in the first-team, that’s what he’s here for, but you should see him in the dressing room; he’s in there with the boys, he’s happy, he’s enjoyed scoring, he obviously likes scoring goals, and looks like he really enjoyed his evening.
“I also thought the way he showed intelligence today with the work around the defending was excellent. He was talking to Theo [Corbeanu] before the game about the defending role in the team, which shows he’s an intelligent boy who wants to pick things up and play the ‘Wolves way’.
“Theo has a lot of work to do on his defending, and he knows that, but it usually comes from us on the sidelines, but just watching how he spoke to him and how he tried to help him, I thought that was a great sign for the football club.”
On the experienced heads of Ruddy and Marcal
“They were the same in the last round at Bradford, and this one today, the lads who have dropped down have been magnificent with the boys, they’ve played properly and put everything into it.
“We’ve got a really young group this year and having some help every now and again from the senior players, listening to them in the changing room, seeing how professional they are, they’re helping the boys, and there’s so much our boys can learn from them.
“Marcal has played in the Champions League semi-final and he’s treated tonight’s game as professionally as he could. He was magnificent. That can only be a great lesson for our players and hopefully they’ll pick up on that.”