Date:Thursday February 9 2006
Long before Wolves current campaign started to falter there were people looking ahead to winter. As Glenn Hoddle’s men passed their way around teams on baize-like pitches a few voices ventured to ask what would happen when those lush flat surfaces started to cut up?
How would Wolves passing game work then?
Last weekend the answer was apparent to all. After a disappointing loss to Leicester City when they were outfought on a divotted pitch, both manager and captain conceded conditions had hampered Wolves’ normally fluid passing game.
'The pitches are different now to how they were at the start of the season,' said Hoddle after the Leicester defeat..
It’s clear that something needs to be done. Pitches will get worse before they get better and the next 5 fixtures could possibly decide Wolves promotion fate. Failure to adapt their game to the conditions could consign Glenn Hoddle’s men to another year in Premiership purgatory. But if they can match teams for desire, industry and passion a place in the top flight could still be there for the taking.
'We have to play according to the conditions and that might mean sacrificing a bit of football. “
Hoddle has said .He has shown in the past that when they need to, his sides can grind out the result they need, in whatever style it takes. And amongst the current Wolves squad there are definitely players more used to getting results by sheer hard work than by outclassing opponents. So the team and its mentor certainly have it well within themselves.
But can they do it week in, week out as the temperature around them starts to rise?
The pressure inside Molineux is starting to build and it’s time for the squad’s leading personalities to not only raise their own game, but to also help raise the game others as well.
Wolves simply have to find a level of consistency that has so far this season eluded them, something Glenn Hoddle is very aware needs to start immediately.
“It's now really important that we go on a run and do something we have not done since the last games of last season when we won three games in a row.
'We need to do that sort of thing and do it quickly and I believe we can. It is not too late and we are still thinking along the lines that it is capable.'
The first step will be Saturday’s fixture with Crewe. Anything other than a three-point win for Wolves will effectively end their season.
All around, people are clamouring for passionate support for the players. It’s now down to them and Glenn Hoddle to provide the evidence that it works.
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