Always Something To Play For

Batth set for trip to Hull

Wolves Captain Danny Batth believes that a continuation of the team’s recent good form over the remaining five matches of the campaign can act as a catalyst for next season.

Batth will lead the team out in tomorrow’s televised Sky Bet Championship fixture at Hull City (7.45pm), a fixture that, along the trip to Leeds United next Tuesday, Batth and his team-mates are relishing.

He said: “They’re great games, and the games that stand out when you’re looking at the fixture list at the start of the season.

“It’s a big game for us and a big game for Hull as well. Likewise, Leeds vs Wolves has always been a big game and always will be. So they’re two big games that we’re looking forward to.”

Wolves go into the match in 12th place in the Championship, and despite the Playoffs now appearing out of reach for another season, Batth insists that there is still a lot to play for.

“We’re not turning our back on this season, we want to finish as high up as we can and that’s important for the club and for us as players, and we want to be really competitive,” he said.

“We’re looking to pick up some results - wins are important - and particularly at home we want to impress the fans and want to make sure they’ve got something to be optimistic over for next season.

“The Wolves fans are loyal, they’re incredible, they stick with us regardless and it’s important that we’ve got that fanbase and reward them for that loyalty with our performances and hard work.

“As a player you’ve always got something to play for.

“Fans pay good money to come and watch, there’s places up for grabs for next season, every player wants to be in the starting XI for next season, and we want to achieve something next year as well.

“We want to build towards that, and why not use these five games and make sure we are in the best possible shape for next year?”

Wolves are certainly in decent shape heading into the match at the KC Stadium, with just one defeat from their last eight matches – a run that has seen them concede just six goals in the process.

It’s the second such run that the team have put together, after a run of one defeat in seven league matches from Boxing Day to February 6th.

And Batth believes that the ability to put together sequences of results and clean sheets can be attributed to the high level of team spirit within the camp.

He said: “There have certainly been ups and downs, there was a sort of turbulent time for us on the pitch approaching Christmas and it was in the balance really.

“We pulled together after the Sheffield Wednesday game and there were a few things said in the dressing room and after that we grinded out a few results and managed to stay away from scrapping down the bottom.

“Certainly we’re mid-table but we’re looking up and hoping that we can turn mid-table into results and pushing further up for this season, but also with a bit of consistency across the front-line as well – we’ve probably lost 40 goals from the team this season and that is a big gap to fill.

“If you look at any successful team, I think there’ll always be a good level of spirit and if you look at Leicester now they do strike me as a team who are best mates off the pitch as well as on the pitch.

“I think that shows, and it will probably give them that edge over the season over some teams that have perhaps been thrown together.

“We like to think we’ve got that coming and we’ve got a young squad and it’s certainly something we can build on.”

The team spirit has also been on display when players have suffered long-term injuries, with squad members rallying round each other during difficult times. Something that Batth is all too familiar with.

“I was injured myself over the summer, so it is difficult,” he admits.

“But we’ve got a good bunch of lads and there’s not many players in that dressing room that have not had an injury or two.

“There’s a good understanding there and the Head Coach and the staff are very good at monitoring injured player’s moods and how they’re doing.

“It doesn’t just happen, you have to get to know each other and I think it’s a key element to any successful team.”