Captain Sam Ricketts today declared Wolves have made the right decision to reintegrate Jamie O’Hara.
Head coach Kenny Jackett ended the £5m midfielder’s exile on Saturday when he brought O’Hara into the squad for the 2-1 win at Bradford.
O’Hara was slapped on the transfer list along with Roger Johnson, Karl Henry and Stephen Ward in June after falling out with the fans on the final day of last season at Brighton.
But although the other three exiles managed to secure moves back to the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday on loan, QPR permanently and Brighton on loan respectively, the former Tottenham man has failed to attract a single enquiry.
Ricketts believes O’Hara has served his punishment, however, with the player’s quality and reformed attitude earning him a second chance.
“Enough time has passed, we’re pleased he’s back involved because he’s got undoubted quality,” said the skipper.
“He trained with us on Friday and travelled up on Friday night and it was good to have him back. I’ve spoken to Jamie since the first day he has been in and he’s always been fine. He’s been around the training ground and there haven’t been any problems.”
David Davis, one of O’Hara’s rivals for a midfield place, welcomed his return.
“Jamie has always been a very good player – you can see that from the clubs he’s played at,” he said.
“And he can look an unbelievable player in training. The spirit is very good.”
Meanwhile, Jackett admitted he got his team selection and tactics wrong on Saturday. The head coach initially went with a 4-3-3 formation but changed things after just 24 minutes when he replaced the blameless Lee Evans with substitute Kevin Doyle and revert to 4-4-2.
Wolves, who had trailed to Raffaele De Vita’s 13th-minute opener before Doyle’s arrival saw them score twice in four minutes through James Henry and Richard Stearman.
“I felt I didn’t get the team right and the formation was wrong for a ‘back-to-front’ game where we had to pass it forward,” he said. “It wasn’t that easy to keep the ball and young Lee understood that – it wasn’t anything to do with his performance. We needed two up front.”