Wolves v Chelsea: Paul Lambert has plethora of options as Richard Stearman passes 250 appearances
Paul Lambert has about 20 players chomping at the bit to play against Chelsea tomorrow.
Among them – and a man hoping to make his 251st appearance for the club after reaching a big milestone on Tuesday against Wigan – is one of the heroes of Anfield, Richard Stearman.
The centre half is one of four players still around from the squad that memorably beat the Blues in the Premier League in 2011.
He and David Edwards started the match – which Mick McCarthy's Wolves won 1-0 thanks to an early Jose Bosingwa own goal – while youngsters Danny Batth and Matt Doherty on the bench.
Stearman, aged 29, said it was a 'massive honour to reach 250 appearances for the club."
"I never thought that I'd be able to reach this milestone - hopefully there are many more to come.
"At the time, I didn't even realise that I was close to reaching that many games for the club but once I had been told, I was delighted and honoured really.
"You hope that you don't have to move about too much but football's such a nomadic job that you could be anywhere within six months.
"I found that out myself, things can change quite quickly.
"I've been very lucky in my career that I've managed to be quite settled, albeit in the past year or two, maybe not.
"To have such a long time at this club, the club I've grown to love, it's amazing for me."
Stearman initially moved to Molineux in 2008 and stayed until 2015 when he surprisingly left to join Fulham for £2m.
Last summer saw a shock return to Wolves, albeit on loan. If he leaves Craven Cottage permanently this summer it doesn't take a genius to work out where Stearman wants to go.
"If ever I was going to leave Fulham permanently, Wolves would be my number one choice, definitely," he added.
"I jumped at the opportunity to come back here - to put on the gold shirt again was a massive pull for me. If that could happen again, that would be perfect for me.
"I think I've grown and matured throughout my time at this club, as a player and as a man.
"Maybe at the back end of my first spell here, I'd become a role model and leader within the dressing room, whether it be out on the pitch or outside of the club and it's something that I love doing.
"I hope everyone can see that I play with my heart on my sleeve - I will give everything I can every time I cross the white line.
"The performances might not always be there but I'll give everything for the badge and long may that continue.
"Everyone's been great and on a personal note, I think my form's been pretty good – I've been happy with the way I've been playing.
"We look to a massive game at the weekend and hopefully we can emulate the win at Anfield."