Danny Batth backed to build on start for Wolves

Danny Batth was today backed to make his mark on the Wolves team.

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The 22-year-old Molineux academy graduate finally got his big chance when he made his full league debut for the club in Thursday’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester.

It came after three substitute’s appearances in the league and three League Cup starts.

Batth’s opportunity came when Roger Johnson started his three-match ban after his sending off against Blackpool.

Manager Dean Saunders’ faith in Batth has been amplified by his decision to allow Richard Stearman to join Ipswich on loan and Ronald Zubar to leave the club.

The Brierley Hill born-and-bred defender produced a solid display and he has been tipped to continue being a reliable performer.

“Danny’s definitely ready now – he did well on Thursday which shows we’ve got plenty of depth in the squad,” said team-mate Dave Edwards.

“He’s probably unlucky not to have played more this season – perhaps the form of Roger and Christophe Berra has kept him out.

“But he’s been knocking on the door for a while and now he’s got his chance he might get a run of games, and he’ll show he’s brilliant.

“He’s a big, powerful lad, but he’ll get even better with games.”

The loan window for Football League clubs opens on February 8 and runs until March 24. But Edwards insists Batth and Georg Margreitter are more than enough competition for Johnson and Berra.

“Georg is competing for a place as well so we’ve got players to cover – that’s what a squad is for,” he said.

“It’s not like the manager has to go into the loan market to try to find someone else every time there’s a suspension. He has a good squad here with some good young players and he’ll give them a chance to play.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Hunt will continue to pick up his match fitness and new signing Lee Evans makes his first appearance in a Wolves shirt in tonight’s under-21 Black Country derby at West Bromwich Albion.

Wolves are looking to pick up their first win in the new Elite Stage having run unbeaten Liverpool very close before losing 3-2 thanks to a late goal last week.

Hunt came off the bench for the first team in the last home game with Blackpool but is keen to build up more match fitness ahead of Saturday’s visit of Leeds to Molineux.

Evans arrived on Thursday as a new addition to the Under-21 ranks from Newport County.

Zeli Ismail is named among the substitutes for tonight’s game and is expected to get a 45-minute run-out.

He remains on loan with MK Dons but under the terms of a youth loan players are able to return to their parent clubs to train or play reserve or Under-21 league football.

Wolves: De Vries, Cranston, Tank, Ihiekwe, Reckord, Price, Evans, Whittall, Hunt, McAlinden, Winnall. Subs: Cotman, Jakobsson, Kellermann, Ismail, Parry.