Stephen Ward: Fun times back at Wolves

Stephen Ward today declared Stale Solbakken has ordered the players to put the “fun” back into playing for Wolves.

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Last night’s 2-0 win at Ipswich lifted Wolves to eighth in the Championship to complete a remarkable turnaround after the team was second bottom before Sunday’s 2-1 success over Leicester.

Vice-captain Ward revealed the manager is determined the players enjoy their football again after the pain of relegation.

“It’s about confidence and the manager has really tried to get that belief in us again,” said the Ireland left-back.

“We did have a bit of a hangover from relegation and I think all teams who come down have that.

“We’ve had a lot of new lads come in and we seem to be getting better and better with every game.

“The manager is just telling us to go out there, do our jobs and have fun.

“After the last two games, the lads are looking confident and enjoying their football. He said he wants us to enjoy ourselves, which is something we haven’t done for a while on a football pitch.”

Wolves go to rock-bottom Peterborough on Saturday aiming for their third successive win.

But Ward insists the players won’t get complacent.

“Two wins has helped bring that enjoyment back but we’re not going to get carried away and he (Solbakken) won’t let us,” he said.

“We need to make sure we keep going in the way we have done in the last couple of weeks.

“To get two wins in a week is really positive. We’ve got one more game to come and if we can keep this run going, it’s all good for where we want to get to.”

Ward believes the end to the uncertainty of players in and out after the transfer window shut has helped the team settle down.

“I think the manager alluded to it in that there was a lot of uncertainty in the first couple of weeks of the season before we knew who was going to be here or not, and who was coming in,” he said.

“We just said to ourselves after the international break ‘we’re the squad for the next few months so let’s make sure we’re all on the same wavelength’ and in the last two games it’s showed.”

Solbakken praised Wolves’ British and Irish core for helping to integrate the club’s foreign legion after last night’s win.

Solbakken revealed the team spirit is improving all the time as the seven new signings get to know the established squad members.

“We need to have a healthy mix and a good team spirit and that’s getting better every day as they get to know each other better on and off the pitch,” the Norwegian said.