Wolves' Jamie O'Hara in fitness battle
Jamie O'Hara is not fit enough to play for Wolves, head coach Kenny Jackett revealed today.
O'Hara looks set to be out of the 18 for the third game in a row in tonight's FA Cup first-round replay at home to Oldham after two substitute appearances against Stevenage and Carlisle. And Jackett said the £5m midfielder has been out of the squad for the last two games because he lacks the mobility to get around the pitch.
"His passing and his composure is very good but I've said to him he's got to be able to get around the pitch," said Jackett.
"While he has undoubted ball-playing ability – which I love and which I think is a considerable strength – I just felt in the games he's played he does need to get around the pitch better. That's very important.
"He's played regular Under-21 football and played last week in a reserve friendly against Derby but playing first-team football is a step up.
"Jamie just has to keep working hard and try to get that fitness he needs to get around the pitch.
"Maybe the time he's had out has had an effect, but he's saying he's lost quite a lot of weight through working hard with a combination of diet and exercise.
"It's in his hands really to get the type of fitness needed."
Jackett insists O'Hara will be considered for duty if he proves his fitness.
"If I feel it's right to do that in the future, I will," he said. "He's training with the group, and, if selected in this busy period, I'm sure he'll try to do his best for the club and earn and hang on to his place there."
Jackett also insisted he hasn't omitted O'Hara because of the prospect of him being cup-tied.
"That wasn't the case," he said. "I brought him into the group and had a look at him and I'm pleased I did because I wouldn't like to think there was a player who could help us who I haven't considered.
"In recent games I've chosen not to select him for football reasons."
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