Stale Solbakken: Wolves players must stay cool

Wolves boss Stale Solbakken today urged his players to keep their heads in tonight’s tea-time televised West Midlands derby against Birmingham.

Bristol City 1 Wolves 4 - stale solbakken

Solbakken’s side have had two sendings off in the last five games – captain Karl Henry and Christophe Berra, although the latter was rescinded.

The fixture has seen some fiery clashes for more than a decade, with Blues men Craig Gardner and Lee Carsley seeing red in May 2011 and April 2009 respectively, the latter when Wolves striker Chris Iwelumo was carried off.

Blues had Martin O’Connor and Bryan Hughes sent off in April 2000 after Martin Grainger allegedly pursued Kevin Muscat down the tunnel in the previous derby, later calling the Aussie the “most hated man in football”.

“I think we’ve had our sendings off for this season, and losing your head and temper in a game like this could make the opposition better than they are,” said Solbakken.

“Some players need to think twice sometimes so we don’t have this over-focus on tackling and battling, and we also have to play football.

“But I’m quite optimistic we’ll see a good Wolves side and we’ll put in a good performance.”

Solbakken is expected to recall midfielder Tongo Doumbia after missing the last two games with fatigue.

“He should have recovered,” said the boss. “He’s in the squad and we’ll see.”

Winger Jermaine Pennant is fit to face one of his former clubs after having an injection in his troublesome ankle, although Bjorn Sigurdarson is favourite to continue in the wide right role after playing so well in last week’s 4-1 win at Bristol City.

But Pennant has been warned he has no excuse not to perform after nine games since joining from Stoke on loan, which expires in January.

“He’s been handicapped by his ankle but he’s had an injection so he looks livelier,” said Solbakken. “There’s no reason why he shouldn’t do well.”

The teams went into the weekend with a point and two places separating them and Solbakken believes this season’s second tier is the most difficult. “It looks like it’s the toughest Championship ever,” he said.

Comments for: "Stale Solbakken: Wolves players must stay cool"

Tipton Wolves

Stick Sigurdarson on the right rather than Pennant cos I don't think Pennant is exactly de-pennant-able, Sigurdarson is more dependable I think. Come on you wolves.

Albrightondek

This is going to be rather more testing than the game last week. It will be interesting to see if he does actually continue with Sigurdarson on the right flank. If he does'nt I would far rather he picks Forde over Pennant.

Karl Henry, please note Solbakken's advice: players need to keep their heads - this means you in particular!

Albert Tomkins

I didn't hate Kevin Muscat,in fact I liked him more than most of the rubbish we have now.

Farmer Ted

Muscat cost us promotion when he got himself sent off for elbowing the Grimsby winger absolutely needlessly. Grimsby beat us 1-0 at Molineux and Wolves never recovered after that with Albion overtaking us. He was a complete moron and the majority of professional footballers knew that.

It's a pity some of Wolves fans didn't and still don't !.

He was a complete embarrassment to this club.

If we do the Molineux second half fade out in this match Blues will take three points. If we can get on top and maintain dominant we should be capable of sending them home with three or more goals up 'em.

Dazzer

totally agree. Muscat was not only dirty he was nasty, whether he was playing for his numerous clubs or The Socceroos

The Real Bangkok Wolf

It was because of Muzzy that we were at the right end of the table.

When he was suspended the depth in cover was the problem like now.

If Muzzy had broke a leg who would of played at left back?

Would we be pushing for second in the league?

We still have the same problem.

Who is competing with Ward for left back?

Is big George coming back?

john alexander

It's a derby go at them blood and thunder, get the crowd behind the lads, we do that, we win the game it's that simple. UTW

Newark Wolves

I saw Muscat play many times - absolutely loved him. Especially when he got Ian Wright sent off when he was playing for Forest - anyone else remember that ? He made out he was a Forest player and shouted out for Wrighty to leave the ball if I remember rightly.

The Real Bangkok Wolf

Those we the day's my freind.......

Cairo Wolf

To Karl Henry,

“I think we’ve had our sendings off for this season, and losing your head and temper in a game like this could make the opposition better than they are”

Yours truly

Stale Solbakken

Vic Wolfe

Anyone remember Muscat when we played Leeds in the cup? Hasslebank was just about to take a penalty against us, when Muscat bent down, pretended to tie his boot laces whilst he in fact picked up a bit of turf. This was flung at Jimmy Floyed as he took his run up and hit him between his shoulderblades. On failing to score he turned round and throttled a bemused Keith Curle whilst Muscat sniggered. Hilarious or a disgrace? Take your pick... It was quite funny though and not one pundit picked up on it.

spanish ray

Why is Pennant still at the club.He is a waste of space.

khs

stale is of course correct, we need to keep calm

,lee clark will have his players organised to upset wolves rythm and try to get the home supporters on our backs and then sit back and hit wolves on the break.

if wolves can copy the first half performance from last week and keep it going for 95 minutes, wwfc will have a good chance of claiming 3 points.

utw.

Sir Billy Quiet

It's not a real derby......Birmingham?

Darlo Wolf

I'm with Farmer Ted on this one - Muscat was a liability.

rich5wolves

im in a pub in sedgley reading solbakkens drivel before i go to the game..........

Stale, shut your mouth and just do your job! and that goes for all your players too. We are fed up of reading your quotes and drivel in the press. If you have nothing worth saying say nothing at all.

All of you roll your sleeves up and give us fans sonething to cheer today.

ducklord

I'm thinking we all need to be behind our team,and not just for today's derby game

still not entirely convinced by SS or his tactics in this league tbh

but we're in it together!

it's OUR Wolves,OUR team

a happy clapper I am not,but not pulling the same way we have NO chance!

go you good things....UTW