Targeting Strong Finish

Gaffer's pre-match thoughts ahead of trip to Brentford

Kenny Jackett says Wolves are firmly focused on a strong finish over the remaining 15 games of the Sky Bet Championship season – starting at Brentford this evening (7.45pm).

Wolves head into tonight’s game at Griffin Park in 13th place in the table,  13 points off the top six and 14 points clear of the relegation zone.

After a run of six without a win, Jackett has stressed the importance of a return to winning ways to repay another strong show of travelling support.

“We have been mid table for the majority of the season - we have 15 games to go and we want to finish strongly,” said the Head Coach.

“No one wants us to finish stronger than myself.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that this season doesn’t drift away.

“There have been thin dividing lines but I do appreciate winning and losing is the bottom line.

“We want to wins as many games to finish as high up as we can, and give our very passionate and considerable support a lot to shout about.

“There is always pressure there and as a Head Coach it is my responsibility to lead.

“And when results don’t go out way the pressure builds up, and there is nobody more aware of that than me.

“After that the concentration has to be on Brentford, carrying on the things that we did well in a close game on a Saturday and then fine-tuning and redefining the areas that we need to improve on.

“Ultimately then it is about getting results which for the players can help build confidence.

“You accept criticism – we have lost two games by the odd goal which shows we are close but being close isn’t good enough and it is not an excuse.

“We need to improve in certain areas and by a few per cent and then hopefully turn defeats into wins.

"There are still 45 points to play for and as the games decrease the chances of reaching the play-offs decrease.

"We have to make sure we finish strongly.

"Of course, without a fantastic run, reaching the play-offs will be very difficult."

Having been promoted from League One with Brentford two years ago, the two sides know each other well having met on many occasions in recent years, with very different results.

“We have had good games with Brentford, open and entertaining games,” added Jackett.

“We want the result to go our way tonight and will do everything we can to try and get that.

“We didn’t do too much wrong at Huddersfield on Saturday but we didn’t get any points and that is the bottom line and what we want to put right at Brentford and then at home on Saturday against Derby.

“Both ourselves and Brentford are in the middle of the table and both sides will want to get the result.

“I am sure it will be a similar game to a lot of very good ones we have had with Brentford over the last couple of seasons.”

Jackett is looking for an improvement on Saturday’s defeat at Huddersfield, in terms of adding more quality going forward to what was a solid performance in defence.

“We battled well and closed and pressed very well,” he said.

“But we didn’t do enough on the ball and weren’t creative enough and our fluency wasn’t good enough.

“I still feel we were unlucky to lose the game, despite not doing as well as we could have done in possession and having enough options.

“There have been many tight games of late and we came out on the wrong end of this one.

“There has been some inconsistency and we need to find the right balance.

“At times we have passed the ball well but not pressed and on Saturday we pressed well but didn’t do enough in possession.

“We need to find the balance between the two if we are to improve from being a mid table side.”

Jackett will select from the same squad tonight and confirmed that the nearest of the absentees to a return – Michal Zyro, Mike Williamson and James Henry – will also be unavailable for Saturday’s visit of Derby County (12.30pm).

He also says Kevin McDonald remains firmly in his thoughts having been on the bench for the last two games.

“It has been close,” he said.

“On Saturday I went with Saville and Coady and their workrate was very good.

“Kevin is close in my thoughts and has been a consistent player for myself in his time at the club.

“He has been a mainstay and a very good player since I have been here.

“He has just been edged out in the last couple of games but I do know that if he does come back he will show a good attitude and do well for the team.

“I also feel that Coady is in a very good spell and generally this season has gone from strength to strength.

“On Saturday he was probably our standout player and I was pleased with his contribution.

“Finding the right balance in the different formations is a very important one and I appreciate midfield is a key area.

“I felt going 4-4-2 was the right thing to do in the Huddersfield game.

“I would like us to be fluent enough to change from one shape to another if we need to and the circumstances of the individual game require it.

“It is about being adaptable to help win games and being consistent enough as well.”