Ikeme's High Hopes For Former Team-Mate

Keeper backs McCarey to stake a claim

Carl Ikeme has wished former team-mate Aaron McCarey well as he searches for a new club – as Wolves’ number one himself gears up for his final action of the season on international duty with Nigeria.

McCarey was told at the end of the season he will not be getting a new deal after six-and-a-half years at Molineux, and is now attracting interest as he aims for more regular football at a new permanent home.

Ikeme has worked closely with the young keeper throughout his time at Molineux, and believes he is ready to stake a claim for a more regular starting berth.

“I went for dinner with Azza at the end of the season,” says Ikeme.

“I think he was a bit gutted but he understands at the same time that he needs to play games.

“He is such a good guy, a genuine, warm-hearted guy, and you don’t meet too many of those very often.

“He just needs to start playing games more and show what we can do.

“I am looking forward to watching him progress and seeing what his next move is.

“He is loved by everyone at the club including all the lads and the staff and I have enjoyed working with him.

“I have seen him since he came over at 17 or whatever when he was a bit raw but he has always worked hard and he improved as a keeper.

“I take my hat off to him for his attitude and I am sure I will stay in touch with him and looking forward to seeing him get out there and play.”

Ikeme himself found himself without regular football for the first time in recent years when losing his place to Emi Martinez towards the start of last season.

Ironically that setback came as he landed his first international call-up with Nigeria, and, having impressed during seven appearances to date, he is looking forward to a couple more before his 2015/16 campaign is complete.

“The timing of the Nigeria call-up was out of the blue a little bit,” he recalls.

“I wasn’t playing for Wolves at the time so it was a welcome distraction.

“I have played seven times for them so far and that has been another highlight of the season as well as getting back in and making a lot of Wolves appearances.

“Playing for Nigeria is something I love doing, in particular with the atmosphere and the love you get from the fans.

“We have two games in Paris against Mali and in Luxembourg over the next week and am looking forward to joining up with the team and hopefully getting two good results.”

Nigeria take on Mali in Paris on Friday before a trip to Luxembourg for another friendly on Tuesday.