Voices from Wolves: Players and Mick about the game against Chelsea FC

Are the players and our manager up to play Chelsea tomorrow? Do they have too much respect for the number one team inte the Premier League? Do they really believe that we have a chance to pick points against one of the best teams in the world? I’ve picked some parts of interviews from the Offical Wolves Site to try to answer those questions.

New guy Aldlène Guédioura had a very good spell against Tottenham and has a great deal of respect for Chelsea.

I really enjoyed the Tottenham game because it was a good match and most importantly because we won. Hopefully the result will bring us confidence and give us opportunities to get more similar results before the end of the season. We’re going into such a difficult match with Chelsea that we needed the sort of result we got against Tottenham.

Chelsea is a very big challenge. We know what a good team they are with some of the world’s greatest players. But we need points. It will be difficult but we have to go into the game believing we can get something. I think we are ready for the test ahead. We can’t guarantee anything in terms of the result but hopefully we can do whatever we can to put on a good performance. I know about their players as everyone does who watches them. In the midfield Ballack is the best player in Germany, Lampard is one of the best in England – you could go through the team like that.

But we are in the Premier League and we know we have to take on the best players. We just have to work hard and do what we can like we did against Tottenham. Like all players I want to put myself up against the best players and see how I can do. We’re all the same in the team in that respect and it’s how we play together and what we end up that matters. Chelsea have the best players but if we respect them so so much then we will lose our own ability to play our game. We need to be aware of their qualities but also believe we can get a result.

Kevin Foley – right back holding the role of right winger – says that there is a lot of belief in the squad now.

It’s a massive challenge for us. We’ve been keeping a few clean sheets of late which has to be our goal again and then see what we can get out of the game. They are a fantastic team who can turn anyone over in this league home or away and are top of the table and well down the road in the Champions League.”

If there is any advantage for us to try and get hopefully we might be a little bit fresher seeing as we haven’t played at the weekend. We were well beaten at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. But hopefully we are a lot closer to them now. After seeing us beat Tottenham at home they might respect us more although at the same time it might just make them even more eager to win!

It’s going to be a very difficult game but there’s a lot of belief in the squad now that we can get results against teams in and around the top four. There’s still a long way to go and if we can pick up something every point we get is that little bit close towards safety. We have done well against the big teams in spells but we know we can’t afford to switch off for a second. There are such fine lines in this division between results.”

You can be talking about good performances and then a goal goes in and it all changes. We were ten minutes away from talking about a great performance and result at Birmingham but end up talking about disappointment and errors and not picking up our men. At Tottenham though we get the goal and then defend really well to claim the points. It’s fine lines which mean games can change so quickly. At the moment though we’re full of confidence which we’ve just got to take into the Chelsea game even though we know it will be extremely difficult.”

The Wolves keeper Marcus Hahnemann seem to have an analytical mind – very rare for an American in my opinion. 😆

Chelsea are going to be sniffing blood which probably doesn’t help us, but they’re at the top for a reason. Like Arsenal, they always play pretty football, like we did for our goal against Tottenham. Chelsea can do that, but they can also play ‘crash and bang’. They have got everything. I think Manchester United have that about them as well – they can pass it around as well but they can play on the counter-attack as well.

I think that’s why the fight at the top has been between those two teams for a while because they can do everything. However you want to play, they’ll match you – if you want to battle, they love it. I remember they came to Reading and we thought ‘we’re going to kick them all over the place, let’s make sure we don’t back out of any tackles’. They loved it, but then they can pass it as well.

The Wolves manager Mick McCarthy gets the last word about the match against Chelsea tomorrow.

I’d say Chelsea have been the best so far. They beat us one week then went to Arsenal and beat them just like they were playing us. That stood out a little bit for me so I would say they are the best in the business this year. But there is hope, and that’s because of the results the top four, or top six have had against the rest of the league.”

“There is a sense throughout the league that teams just aren’t invincible any more. Do you know, I don’t think it is because Chelsea, Manchester United and all of those – Tottenham – are any worse. I just think that maybe the rest of us have got a little bit better, a little bit more street wise and players know how to nick a result off people.

And we’ve had a good spell of playing, I think. I don’t think there’s a fear factor because our performances have been good. We know Chelsea are arguably the best in the league this year but we have to look at how we’ve been playing and take confidence from it. I don’t think that is for me to say whether the players are more streetwise – anyone who has watched them will accept that they are. If we don’t get better after 25 games, or 20 games because in the last four or five we have played well, you have to improve.”

It has been difficult for us but we have looked a better side over recent weeks, that’s for sure. It’s difficult to talk about players growing into the Premier League ahead of a big test like Chelsea because we might end up with a real old slapping but I don’t think we will. We go into it feeling a lot more confident. We can’t afford to make mistakes and in the games against Spurs and Liverpool we didn’t. If we do make mistakes we will get punished.

My conclusion must be that there is a good spirit in the team and they are ready to take Chelsea on. The players are aware of the strength of their opponent tomorrow, but not lost in admiration. They will not stand there with open mouths watching the world class players outplay them.

Wolves have evolved and are getting streetwise, as McCarthy puts it. And I believe he is correct. They make much less mistakes now and they begin to snap up the tricks of the trade that Prmier League experienced players have among their tools. It is a Wolves team in harmony – and that means the world for the way they play.

And as the last games have been very well played and the balance of the team is perfect – the starting eleven will pick itself. That means stability for the first time this season. If I were a Chelsea supporter – which God of course will forbid – I would be very worried about this little team from the Black Country.



~ by paddytheflea on February 19, 2010.

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