Kenny Jackett today spelt out the importance of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy to Wolves when he declared: “Let’s get to Wembley and win it.”
Wolves return to Molineux for the first of three successive home games when Notts County are the visitors for tonight’s second-round tie.
It promises to be an emotional occasion in front of the live TV audience as the crowd prepare to pay tribute to the late, great Peter Broadbent, who shone under the Molineux lights as a star that burned particularly brightly in those fabulous Fifties floodlit friendlies.
Head coach Jackett, who won the Football League Trophy with Swansea in 2006, the year they also lost on penalties in the League One play-off final to Barnsley, believes Wolves can run a promotion campaign alongside a successful cup run in this competition.
“It would be great to get to Wembley,” he said.
“Our next hurdle is Notts County but our aim, like a lot of sides in it, is to get to Wembley and win the competition.
“If we could do that, it would be a fantastic supplement to our main priority which is trying to win promotion.
“If we could get through to a Wembley final, we’d take it all day.
“So it’s a really good chance to do that and an opportunity we want to follow up on.
“We’ll be selecting from everyone who’s available and put out as strong a side as possible we think can win.
“But we have to take it one stage at a time”
Jackett believes having a bigger squad than most teams at this level means Wolves can have a good run in the competition they won in 1988 – beating tonight’s opposition in the area semi final before losing to Torquay in the area final in 1989 - without damaging their promotion charge.
“There’s a certain stage where a lot of games can hamper you, but that’s not the case for ourselves,” he said.
“We’ve had a pretty even programme so far and not too many injuries, and, as long as that continues, one can run alongside the other.”
Under competition rules, Jackett has to field six players who started Saturday’s 3-0 win at Colchester or six who will start the following league visit of Coventry in 11 days’ time.
And with the gap between fixtures, he will field a reasonably strong team.
With Aaron McCarey, Matt Doherty, Anthony Forde, Lee Evans, Sam Ricketts and Kevin Doyle away on international duty and Bakary Sako unfit after illness, Carl Ikeme, Kevin Foley, George Elokobi, new- boy James Henry, Scott Golbourne and Leigh Griffiths – who doesn’t have to report with Scotland until tomorrow – are set to feature alongside rookie Ethan Ebanks-Landell.
Sedgley-bred keeper Jon Flatt will be on the bench for the first time after playing in the Under-21s’ 2-1 defeat at Arsenal last night.
“We don’t play again for another 10 days so all the players are looking forward to this game and for the opportunity to play at Molineux and do well in front of our own fans,” said Jackett.
Two wins in their last three has been a big improvement for County and Jackett is aware they won’t be easy.
“They have three lads away on international duty but I’m sure they’ll be looking to their replacements to work their way into their team and create their own competition,” he said.
County, midfielder Andre Boucaud has been called up by Trinidad and Tobago, but is available.
However, boss Chris Kiwomya is without three midfielders due to Under-21s international call-ups – Greg Tempest (Northern Ireland), Callum McGregor (Scotland) and on-loan Villa man Jack Grealish (Ireland), while Marcus Haber is ineligible under the terms of his loan from Stevenage.