Date:Thursday February 9 2006
With 15 games left until the play-offs, and with Wolves sitting 8 points away from the top 6 the stakes in every game are now all-in. And just as every game is now a cup final, it’s also a potential banana skin for Wolves aspirations of promotion.
The work starts in earnest on Saturday. Wanderers have left themselves no margin for error, and against teams fighting for survival, that can sometimes come back to haunt you.
Saturday will be a day for all to stand up and be counted. The team need to put in a convincing performance, and the crowd need to show they still have it in them to be Wolves 12th man. Something Paul Ince is very aware of.
'It is going to be very hard for us to move into th e play-offs unless we start winning games, and so we need everyone behind us.
'Winning one, losing one and drawing one is not good enough for this club - we have to be consistent and get a run going to achieve what we all want,' he told the club's official website.
Crewe may be rooted to the foot of the division, but last Saturdays high scoring game against league leaders Reading showed they certainly have plenty of fight in them. And they are definitely not a team of kick and rush merchants, as Ince points out :
'Crewe play nice football, and they scored three last week against Reading which is a feat in itself at the moment,'
'To get those goals against a team that is so defensively strong shows that, attacking-wise, they have got a bit about them.”
But in that, could be their Achilles heel. It’s in games where teams come to Molineux to play football, and not mount a 10 man defence that Wolves frequently show their true colours.
And 3 points at 16.45 Saturday will provide just the boost the team needs going into such a crucial period of the season.
'They let you play, and hopefully that's what we'll do. It's a game I expect us to win, and if we achieve that then it's vital that we keep the winning ways going.' Said Ince.
The importance of this game cannot be overstated. Glenn Hoddle knows it, the players know it, and the fans know it.
By final whistle Saturday, Wolves season could be all over, or just about to begin
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