Mountain: Ikeme deserves to have conquered Wolves record

Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme was today told he deserves the clean sheets record after making history as the club clinched promotion.

Carl Ikeme of Wolverhampton Wanderers puffs his cheeks out with relief at full time.
Carl Ikeme of Wolverhampton Wanderers

Ikeme’s latest shutout in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Crewe not only sealed Wolves’ return to the Championship but was the 24th clean sheet of the league campaign, overtaking the club record that had stood for 90 years.

Ikeme has kept 21 of those shutouts with understudy Aaron McCarey responsible for the other three.

And goalkeeping coach Pat Mountain heaped praise on the 27-year-old shotstopper, whose next appearance will be his 100th for Wolves.

“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper but what people don’t see is what gets him to that stage,” said Mountain.

“He puts in so much work – not just on the training ground but away from the club, making sure he looks after himself and prepares himself right physically and mentally for the games.

“He deserves all the accolades and credit he’ll get for the clean sheets record.

“Aaron is a big part of it too because he’s pushed him and been really supportive.”

Wolves have conceded just 25 goals this season – the second best in all four divisions, with Chelsea’s 24 from eight fewer games the only team to better them – and the total is the lowest in the club’s history, with 27 in 1923-24 the only comparison.

Mountain believes the defensive meanness is down to the all the players.

“It’s credit to the two goalkeepers but it’s really down to the whole team,” he said.

“I think the determination to keep the ball out was shown on Saturday when Crewe had a free kick on the edge of the box and Richard Stearman and Sam Ricketts both flew out to protect the clean sheet.

“So the record is for the team and hopefully we can go on and win the league.”

Mountain won promotion in his first season at the club in 2008-09 but is enjoying this one more.

“Any promotion is something to relish and I’m relishing this one a little bit more because you realise that they don’t come along as often as you think,” said the Welshman.

“Both of them were fantastic achievements for different reasons and it’s a moment to enjoy in your career.

“But we haven’t finished – we want to win the title now.

“We want to beat Rotherham at home now in front of 30,000 then do the same at Leyton Orient on Easter Monday and hopefully get the trophy so we can parade it against Carlisle at home.

“That will do. But after celebrating on Saturday, we’ve got our heads right for Friday’s game.”

Mountain also praised the fans for their backing this season.

“It’s a big thing for the club and when you see the supporters, you see how much it means to them,” he added.

“Getting promoted from any league is a fantastic achievement.

“Hopefully we’ve put the smiles back on the faces of the supporters because they deserve it.

“They’ve followed us everywhere, they’ve sold out virtually every away game and created a great atmosphere wherever we’ve gone.”

And he also praised head coach Kenny Jackett for the way he has transformed the club.

“After the last two seasons, the impact of the gaffer says it all really,” he said.

“He’s a fantastic person to work with, he’s done fantastic things for the club and long may it continue.”