Kenny Jackett today backed Steve Hodge to get the best out of Wolves’ ‘bomb squad’.
Former Nottingham Forest, Tottenham and Villa midfielder Hodge has been appointed on a part-time basis to look after what head coach Jackett has respectively termed “group three” – the five unwanted players separated from the first-team squad and Under-21s in pre-season.
Wolves are into the final rounds of interviews for the Under-21s and Under-18s coaches and Hodge will remain with “group three” while the squad is away on tour in Ireland.
Jackett said there had been no further interest in any of the players deemed surplus to requirements.
“The final interviews are going on this week with Kevin Thelwell and Gareth Prosser,” said Jackett.
“The only one coming in at the moment, and on a part-time basis, is Steve Hodge.
“He’s come in to take our ‘group three’ - Roger Johnson, Jamie O’Hara, Razak Boukari, Tongo Doumbia and Georg Margreitter.
“Stephen Ward and Kevin Doyle are to be discussed.”
Jackett believes Hodge has an advantage in getting the best out of a group associated with a toxic past because he is new to it.
“Perhaps coming in fresh it’s better sometimes as they don’t necessarily hold Steve responsible for their position,” he said.
“It’s a difficult role but they’re here to get fit for pre-season and he said they’ve been fine and he’s enjoyed it.
“He’s said he’s had a good response to the work and they’ve worked hard.
“He has very good experience from his playing days and has recently been coaching and doing very well with Notts County in the Under-21s league.
“I watched their side once or twice and I thought he coached them very well and was quite impressive.
“He took a reserve side or Under-21s against us and I remember talking to him before that game and the first-team matches we played against them, including the cup.”
George Elokobi and Sam Whittall, who were freed by Wolves in May, have joined the group, with young keepers Jon Flatt and Scott Dutton.
“The keepers have trained with that group every day to make it more of a constructive session,” said Jackett.
“Having two keepers does give you options to have one-versus-ones, two-versus-twos or three-versus-threes where you are specifying fitness work.”