Kenny Jackett felt Jack Price was right for midfield
Kenny Jackett has explained his thinking behind recalling Jack Price to his starting XI, proclaiming: "He'll never let you down."
Price was a surprise inclusion on Jackett's team sheet for Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Preston.
The Shropshire-born midfielder made his first start since the 4-1 loss at Sheffield Wednesday on December 21 as a result.
And in doing so he pushed Kevin McDonald to the bench, the Scot ending a run of 24 consecutive starts that dated back to September.
The Wolves boss said of his decision: "I felt Jack Price just edged McDonald, there's no other reason than that.
"For that three-man midfield my selection was that I wanted to play Price, have a look at Price in that particular role.
"I think he did fine. The big thing about Jack Price is he's a very consistent player. And he's a very consistent person.
"He'll never let you down."
Jackett refuted any suggestion that McDonald had been left out for anything other than football reasons, with a rumour doing the rounds online that the midfielder had been sidelined for a disciplinary issue. McDonald has played a more defensive, disciplined role recently, with the primary aim of protecting the back four. Jackett said it was now the 27-year-old's challenge to force his way back into the team.
"He's had a different role of late in a three-man midfield, for which if he can get free he can be very effective with his passing," Jackett added.
"And he has done that in recent months in an area where we have quite a number of options.
"For him to come back, away from the ball, to get on it and then be effective with his passing, that's his game and it's a good one that's served him well over the period of time, almost three years, that he's been here."
Conor Coady joined Price and George Saville in midfield on Saturday.
The ex-Huddersfield man set up Joe Mason's goal to get Wolves back in the game, and was arguably the pick of the midfield trio.
Coady will hope to face his former club on Saturday after being left out of the return fixture following a three-game suspension.
Jackett said he was pleased with Coady's form, which dipped after that red card against Brighton earlier in the season.
"I've been pleased with his form," Jackett said. "His energy, his commitment, his heart has been very good. He's kept going.
"I thought he played well on Saturday.
"He's got a good attitude, very whole-hearted. The sending off earlier in the season perhaps rocked him a bit slightly, because he was in very good form early on.
"He's found the balance now, I don't want to take away his tackling and his competitive nature.
"Picking up second balls and putting in the type of running stats that midfield players need, he is capable of it.
"When he gets an assist like Saturday it rounds his game off very well."
n An under-21 team that featured Kortney Hause crashed out of the Birmingham Senior Cup at Solihull Moors last night on penalties.
The game finished 1-1, with Wolves' goal scored by Connor Hunte. It went straight to penalties and the hosts triumphed 5-4.
Hause played 90 minutes, as did youngsters Bright Enobakhare and Sylvain Deslandes.
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