Whenever my old school hockey team were preparing for cup matches our coach, the greatest coach I have ever played for, would often say, “It’s a game of wills. It’ll show if you want it more and if you do want it more, you will have it!” Coming up to the Wolves game tomorrow I was reminded of this. I’m not a big fan of the way Wolves play their football but I have to admit that the never-say-die attitude that some of there players have has to be admired. I think Jamie O’Hara could play at a better club than Wolves but it is the fight in Wolves that makes him fit in well. The reason I talk about this is for 2 reasons-
1) Wolves need points! Wolves are in with the 5 teams desperate for points to pull away from the drop zone and they will throw everything at Fulham tomorrow to try and get them. They work very hard and Fulham must be aware of this. Fulham need to want the points as much as Wolves because we want to be well into the top half come the end of the season. I think we need a big performance tomorrow to overcome the desire of the Wolves team. There is no doubt in my mind that Fulham are the much better football side but players like Ruiz mustn’t be easily pushed off the ball if we are to score goals. Ruiz is a lot better in terms of this than he was at the start of the season but his small frame will make him a target for the Wolves players. He needs to give as good as he gets tomorrow in terms of commitment for the ball- just as long as it doesn’t involve dirty tackles!
2) Sometimes this season I think we have lacked the will power to finish games off. Norwich, West Brom are just 2 examples of us giving away a lead very late on. There has been a lot of criticism about the way Fulham play when ever they have a lead. It just looks like everybody is holding back, scared to make a mistake but it has cost us so many times! I don’t think it is a matter of players not trying hard enough, I just think that it is the last part of Jols tactics that the players have yet to fully adapt to. However, I personally don’t see the point of sitting on a flimsy 1nil lead. The players should want to attack! I think Jol is still trying to find the mix between not being caught on the counterattack and not playing very, very defensively. I think it is something that again will come with time.
I think if the boys play tomorrow willing to win and to play as hard as they can we could come away with a comfortable victory. It’s the Wolves commitment that we have to look out for!