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Captain Danny Batth still leading – and fighting for his Wolves place

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

On the face of it Danny Batth, Ryan Bennett and Sylvain Deslandes will have been a brand new defensive trio for Wolves on Wednesday night.

Danny Batth salutes the fans at full time on Wednesday

Deslandes was making his first senior appearance for 16 months while Batth and Bennett were playing for the second time this season.

In reality thought the three players were very well acquainted, Batth revealed, in another glimpse into Nuno Espirito Santo's regimented, organised, relentless training sessions.

"It's a back three that have probably spent 15, 20, 30, 40 hours on the training pitch together," Batth told the Express & Star.

"We've been working hard on the training pitch - when we do 11 v 11 it's us three versus those three.

"Everyone knows their role inside out so if called upon they know what to do.

"Pitting yourself against top players is what you want to do. Sylvo and Benno were brilliant, likewise the boys in front of us.

"Every player is important and every player is on the training ground every day learning what gaffer wants to do so everyone who's not in the team will feel they can offer something to the squad.

"The lads did themselves justice on Wednesday - I'm proud of them all."

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After Saturday's disappointing defeat to Cardiff the surprise cup victory gave the club a welcome boost ahead of tomorrow's trip to Brentford.

The result and performance have also given Nuno a selection headache.

Batth said of the victory: "It was satisfying.

"We knew it was going to be tough going down to Southampton on a Wednesday night, obviously them being at home you knew they'd be strong and you look at their setup and see how difficult it's going to be.

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"I thought the boys, credit to them, were brilliant.

"Southampton had a very expensive team, those boys are top Premier League players. They brought some of their big boys on at the end and tried to overload us but I thought we stood up well and did what was needed.

"I was delighted with the clean sheet and when you look at the calibre of striker they had on the field it was a different test for us when they've got Austin, Long, Redmond, Gabbiadini, they're all Premier League players."

Batth opened the scoring at St Mary's with his fourth goal since the start of April, heading home Ivan Cavaleiro's corner. And he was also impressed with the evening's other goalscorer, youngster Donovan Wilson.

"It was a nice header, I was happy to get one," he said.

"I do say to the boys 'leave it between the sticks' and I'll hopefully get on the end of it. It was a great ball.

"Every time I train against Donovan I'm impressed with him. I think he's better at men's football - he looks the part when he's with us and when he's got his chance he's taken it."

The Brierley-Hill born centre half has been on the bench for Wolves' opening four league games.

But he's very much still Wolves' skipper despite being left out of Nuno Espirito Santo's first team so far.

He did his chances of forcing his way into the XI no harm a goal and a solid defensive display.

The 26-year-old said: "I'm the loudest one in that dressing room even if I'm in my tracksuit.

"I'll be rallying and whoever starts it's my job as captain to make sure we're solid and going in the right direction.

"The boys have been superb. The manager has come in and made a decision with his starting line up and it's up to me to get back in the team and force the issue.

"I did everything I can on Wednesday night and I'll continue to support the team.

"When you've not been playing too much you want to always be in the manager's thoughts."

The likes of Batth, Bennett, Jack Price and Cavaleiro will all have given Nuno a selection headache with their performances at St Mary's.

And Batth said whoever was called upon would be ready to make an impact at Griffin Park

"You never know in football when your next game's going to come round so you've got to take it with two hands," he added.

"On the back of Saturday, we didn't get the result we wanted. As a club we don't want to lose two games on the bounce and that'll be a boost for all the boys who weren't here as well.

"It's a great club, we want to push it in the right direction. Everyone has a role and everyone is needed."

"Training is bright and breezy and we're all ready to play."

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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