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Wolves' solid defence down to 'natural' relationship between Danny Batth and Richard Stearman

Dudley | Sport | Published:

Danny Batth today revealed the secret behind Wolves' rock-solid defence – his 'natural' partnership with Richard Stearman and teamwork.

The hugely popular Brierley Hill-born defender – Wolves' only ever present in League One this season – is having a ball as part of the division's tightest back four.

Wolves haven't conceded for four games – a total of 426 minutes' play - while the back line has been breached just once in the last six games, and that was Sam Baldock's penalty in the 3-1 win against Bristol City.

"I've known 'Stears' for a long time and we've played a lot of football together," said Batth.

"I think it's a partnership with a really good balance and we've got the sort of understanding that comes when you've played alongside someone for a while.

"It starts to become natural in terms of what happens next."

Batth stressed the impressive shutout form is a team effort.

He added: "It's the sign of a good back four and a good goalkeeper to keep clean sheets but we certainly don't underestimate the amount of work the lads in front of us do.

"They all work very hard for us as well.

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"It comes from a team mentality, a record like we have, which is something we've tried to create and now want to build on."

Batth is one of numerous players to have come through the ranks at Molineux and the camaraderie that flows between the growing number of academy graduates has helped rebuild team spirit after successive relegations.

"It's good there are a few local lads now involved and it gives the younger players something to aspire to like it did for me," he said.

"Jack Price has been doing really well, Aaron (McCarey) stepped up and did well, and people are grabbing their chances by the scruff of the neck."

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Batth praised head coach Kenny Jackett for helping to develop the youngsters by giving them their chance and said he had helped instil a healthy working atmosphere.

"The gaffer has been class since he came in," he said.

"He came to a club which had gone through successive relegations and quickly gave us a base to start with.

"Now we're looking a real threat going forward as well.

"Sometimes you don't need to over-complicate things and a lot of the time it's about consistency and enthusiasm and making sure you are fully prepared for when the games come along."

Wolves go into tomorrow's visit of Port Vale seeking their seventh straight win.

But with an aerial bombardment expected, Batth isn't taking anything for granted and he insisted remaining grounded was a key factor in their recent success.

"It's a case of looking at what we've got to do in the next game and focusing one game at a time," he said.

"We're a fairly new team which has had to gel and as your understanding gets better, the cohesion improves and so have performances.

"A big part about recent results has been finding a good consistency but also everyone keeping their feet on the ground.

"We've had a few new players during the season which has also given us a lift while also getting to grips with the league a bit more.

"There's still work to be done and we just need to keep winning games and winning enough games to get where we want to be at the end of the season.

"We've not done anything yet – if you ask me in 15 games we'll know for sure whether it's been a success."

Batth believes the Wolves fans are similarly keeping their feet on the ground.

"I don't think after the Brentford game (won 3-0) the supporters will have got too carried away," he added.

"They'll realise there's still a lot of play for.

"A lot of our games are away from home as well and that has to be taken into account.

"It's just a case of steadying the ship and keeping ticking along."

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