Wolves boss Stale Solbakken today urged Karl Henry to ‘tackle smarter’ as he weighed up his options to replace the suspended skipper – including Emmanuel Frimpong.
Henry is banned for the next three games for his fourth red card against Brighton on Saturday, and has said sorry to Solbakken and the players as well as apologising to fans on Twitter. The loss of the captain leaves a big hole to fill at a time when Arsenal’s Frimpong continues to be monitored by Wolves – and now Mick McCarthy at Ipswich.
But Solbakken said Henry can’t afford to lose his main attribute. “If he does that (stops tackling) he’s useless,” said Solbakken.
“I can’t play a Karl Henry who doesn’t tackle people. So he has to find the right balance. He will learn.
“It’s important he doesn’t lose his fighting mentality.
“But he mustn’t come to the point where he’s afraid of tackling. It’s important he continues to be a fighter.
“The point is always where do you tackle? I don’t think we were under threat on the halfway line.
“It’s about thinking twice about where you are on the pitch and how you’re going to do it. But he’s smart enough to achieve that balance – I don’t think I have to tell him. We have to find a replacement and we must find a better balance in the away games.”
Frimpong, who revealed in a tweet he’s hopeful of going out on loan this week, remains an option for Solbakken, when he’s fully fit.
The 20-year-old has played 80 minutes over two Capital One Cup ties for Arsenal since rupturing his cruciate ligament on February 4 on loan at Wolves.
Frimpong tweeted: “I am positive of going on loan this week.”
Solbakken said: “We’ve discussed him and he has a relationship with Wolverhampton, but it’s also important he’s 100 per cent fit when he comes here and is ready, so we don’t lose a month.
“I can’t say I know in detail about his fitness because he hasn’t played many games.
“I watched him against Reading on DVD, but they were 4-0 down and he was substituted after 62 minutes at 4-1. We’re monitoring the situation. But I don’t want to underestimate the players here either. It’s a balance. We’re not panicking over the situation with Karl.”
“If we sign someone, it’s important it’s someone with other qualities.”