Wolves captain Karl Henry was today re-assured he has a part to play on and off the pitch in the survival scrap this season.
The club’s longest-serving regular was dropped for the first time under boss Dean Saunders for Saturday’s much-needed 2-1 win against Bristol City in favour of David Davis.
The 22-year-old ended up scoring the own goal howler with his over-hit back-pass that put the Robins ahead, sparking the half-time rumpus that saw keeper Carl Ikeme break his hand punching the tactics board.
Henry remained on the bench as an unused substitute but Saunders was impressed with the 30-year-old’s positive attitude and encouragement towards his team-mates during such a difficult period for the club.
“I spoke to Karl and he has a great attitude,” said the boss. “All through the game on Saturday and through the build-up to the match and on the bench, he was totally supportive of everybody.
"That’s the type of reaction I want. He’s shown what a good professional he is. And, like Stephen Ward and Kevin Doyle, they know they are going to play.”
Henry has played 33 games in all competitions this season, missing three through suspension after his dismissal against Brighton in November and others with groin and hamstring injuries.
But he has been a regular ever since signing from Stoke for a bargain £100,000 from Stoke in July 2006, reeling off 264 games in gold and black to make the top 40 Wolves appearance makers.
And Saunders revealed his decision to omit Henry for the Bristol City game was purely tactical.
“He’d played in every game for me and I just felt Bristol City were going to sit back against us and Davis – who’s been itching to get a start – would give us some fresh legs in the team,” said the boss.
Henry went on the pitch to shake hands with his team-mates and Saunders added: “People show their true colours in times of adversity.”