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Dave Edwards: Wolves need to stay composed in big Nottingham Forest clash

Saturday’s trip to Forest is Wolves’ biggest game of the season so far.

Nottingham Forest's Morgan Gibbs-White (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore
Nottingham Forest's Morgan Gibbs-White (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore

It will be a very hostile atmosphere at the City Ground, especially after previous meetings this term.

It’s a test. Forest are good at home and they can get results. But the key thing for me is Wolves staying composed to firstly ensure they do not lose the game and then hopefully have enough to go on and win.

Wolves have better players on the pitch, there’s no doubt about that. But Julen Lopetegui’s side just have to play their game and not get roped into any emotional baggage or antics – I have no doubt Forest’s remit pre-match will be to rile up the away players, to make them snap into silly decisions.

If Wolves can stay away from those antics, remain as calm as possible and let their football do the talking I’ve no doubt they can run out winners.

If I was the head coach my message to the players ahead of the heat of battle, once he has talked tactics, would be to remain calm and composed for the duration.

Wolves have been on the end of some absolute stinkers in terms of decisions in recent games, so you can see why they are getting angry. They probably think the world is against them at times and Forest will look to fuel that fire.

I’m sure Lopetegui will be highlighting things that have gone wrong when the team have lost their discipline. It’s vital it doesn’t happen on Saturday.

When Wolves go that way, look at the Leeds game last time out, Bournemouth having gone one down, they really lose their strategy and get a bit desperate.

I don’t agree with how Forest recruited last summer after promotion, with the massive overhaul of players, it’s not sustainable.

They struggled to gel but after the World Cup break they seemed to have some momentum. It has mainly been their home form that has made the difference. Steve Cooper has some good players there.

Morgan Gibbs-White is a Wolves lad and, like him or not, knows how to score and create. Brennan Johnson could be back from injury and also possesses real quality.

But Wolves need to keep playing their football. They have technical geniuses there who can handle the ball and take the sting out of games, especially away. Controlling the game with the ball will be key. It’s not easy but you hope the experience of some of these Wolves players will shine through.

A game that sticks out in my mind of us being far too emotional is that Black County derby against Albion.

We’d just beaten QPR in a crazy game at Loftus Road 2-1 having been 1-0 behind. Mick McCarthy went gung-ho after they had Djibril Cisse sent off. He played me and Jamie O’Hara in central midfield, Kevin Doyle on the right and Matt Jarvis left behind two strikers! We were down near the bottom of the table at the time.

It worked there but Mick went with the same team for the derby. We were just so up for it but it just capitulated. Albion were very calm, played an extra man in midfield and their plan worked. We were running like crazy trying to get big tackles in – we lost the game 5-1.

We showed ill-discipline in how we played, got far too emotional, football isn’t like other sports where you need a physical and emotional driver, it’s a lot more skill-based and about remaining calm and composed. You can be too up for a game and it takes away your decision-making. It cost us and I’ve seen it cost Wolves this season.

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