On the front foot

Gaffer all set for tough opening test

 Paul Lambert has set his sights on Wolves starting to climb the Sky Bet Championship table as he prepares for his first game at the helm – a tough test at Preston tomorrow (3pm).

The Head Coach has enjoyed his first two weeks at the helm at Molineux, albeit that he was only able to take a full squad for training yesterday when the final few players returned from international duty.

Preston made a slow start to the current season but have since improved, and have won five of their last eight in the league ahead of tomorrow’s clash at Deepdale.

“Preston will be a tough game and it is always a tough place to go to.

“They started slowly but Simon (Grayson) has got them going now.

“They are on a little bit of a run at the minute but we have go up there and embrace it.

“This league is unforgiving but you can quickly make headway in it or just as quickly find yourselves slipping down it.

“We are down there at the minute and have to make headway into it.

“We are taking a really good following up there and we will be ready for it.

“We need the fans and we need to give them something as well.

“If we can play off each other then we can have a right good go at it and then we will have a chance.”

Lambert has already stated that the Wolves squad is too big and will need reshaping in January.

With so many players at his disposal he knows it may take time to find a favoured first eleven, but says players will be given their opportunities to stake a claim.

“I have said to the lads that because I am new here, it is a clean slate as they call it!” he explains.

“What has happened in the past isn’t anything that I can have any influence on.

“Now, hopefully we can get our own mark on things and go and try and win things.

“The team will probably evolve as we go on and I can’t pick everybody or take everybody to games but I will try to be fair to everybody.

“We want to lift things but I don’t think that is difficult because it’s fresh, it’s a new voice and some new training methods.

“You can get a lift from that and then the secret is to try and keep that.

“If we work hard and play the way we can play we will certainly hope to start going on to win games.

“The attitude from the players and their enthusiasm for the game has been good.

“Now we just need to find some consistency and perform for 90 minutes week-in week-out.

“It is about doing it in the matches – you can play great in training but when it comes to the games that is where you earn your crust.

“That is when you see who can do it and who can’t do it and the big players will step up to the plate.”

With over 2,000 travelling to support Wolves tomorrow, Lambert is keen for his team to get on the front foot and get off the mark in this new era.

“I can’t wait for the game now,” he says.

“If you can’t play football the next best thing is to be a manager or a coach.

“I’m really looking forward to going up there and trying to win the game.

“We have tried to cover every base and we will be prepared for the game.

“Once that first whistle goes the lads will have to be ready.

“We want to be on the front foot – I would rather the ball be in the opposition half than in our half.

“And then there is a place for creativity – we have got good creative players who can make things happen and we need to utilise that by playing a little bit higher up the pitch rather than inviting pressure.”

Dave Edwards misses tomorrow’s game through suspension and Lambert will check on keeper Carl Ikeme, who missed the Derby game through injury.