Wolves boss Dean Saunders today urged Dorus De Vries to seize his fresh chance at Molineux.
The Dutch keeper has been handed an opportunity for the rest of the season with Carl Ikeme out with a broken hand.
De Vries had a similar chance almost a year ago when Wayne Hennessey ruptured his cruciate ligament and played the last four games of the season.
The last time the 32-year-old started a league game was the 3-2 defeat at Wigan last May and his only start since was the 6-0 Capital One Cup exit at Chelsea in September.
But he has replaced Ikeme twice, in the 1-0 defeat to Millwall in November and last time out against Bristol City, when his kicks helped set up the goals for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle to win the game. De Vries’ previous spell in the Championship saw him help Swansea to promotion in 2010-11.
And Saunders believes the Dutchman can play a key role in the club’s survival bid as they prepare to return to action at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday.
“It’s a chance for Dorus to put his marker down,” said the boss.
“He’s waited a long time but he’s been good in training and there’s a very good chance for him.
“He’s different in stature to Carl but he’s very good with his feet – so good he could play outfield, near enough – his reflexes are good and he’s sharp around his goal.
“His attitude has been good while he’s been waiting for his chance and hopefully he takes it.”
Saunders is confident the former Swansea shot-stopper, who played as a centre-back until he was 15, won’t suffer the same fate as Ikeme did with David Davis’ own-goal blunder.
“His kicking was good against Bristol City, but his actual passing is good,” added the boss.
“Dorus can pick a player out by clipping the ball to him. He’s good at it, one of the best. That’s what he has been brought up with, not just at Swansea but from earlier in his career.”
Saunders warned fans not to expect too much too soon from De Vries after so long out of regular action.
“He’s not played for something like six months, so it’s difficult for him to step in,” he said.