Gary Rowett believes that Derby County will have to be at their best to get a result when they head to Molineux to face the Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
After a run of eight games without success, the Rams bounced back with victory against Preston North End on Easter Monday and they followed it up by securing back-to-back wins for the first time in 2018 with a comfortable victory over Bolton Wanderers.
Rowett admitted that his side dropped their level after the third goal went in against the Trotters on Saturday, and he believes that Derby will have to play at their “maximum” to bring the points home on Wednesday night.
He told RamsTV: “They have been fantastic this season. I don’t think that many people would have had them up there as title-winners, but you could see how good they were when we played them earlier in the season.
“You could see how much quality they had and you could see that some of the signings were top players.
“We will go there with an eye on what other teams have done to make it difficult for them. Hull got a really good result and other teams have beaten them, but they don’t slip up very often so we have to be at the top of our game.”
Rowett added: “Any game is an opportunity to keep the players at their maximum and you have to keep your standards up to get any result.
“We showed a real hunger and drive to work harder than the opposition [Bolton], and we’re going to have to do that out of possession.
“They’re dangerous because they can be without the ball for a period and still be very comfortable, so we have to get the balance right.”
Travelling to Molineux has been a daunting task for many sides in the Championship, but Derby can take heart from their excellent record on the road so far this term.
No team has lost fewer games away from home than Rowett’s Rams in the league, and with momentum behind them, the boss expects his side to play with confidence under the lights.
He said: “Our away form has been fantastic, we have only lost three games all season so it will be a very good test off the back of two wins, and we will go there with positivity.
“We have looked more cohesive than we did in previous matches so we’re really pleased and hopefully we have a little bit of momentum to carry into the next games.”
Rowett also provided an update on the fitness of his squad as they enter a crucial period of the season.
“We haven’t had any injuries since the last game, and nobody is ready to come back.
“It’s frustrating because we thought that Bradley Johnson would be back for the Preston game, but he has picked up an infection in his ankle, which has been very slow to clear.
“It will be good to get him back in the 18 because he gives us different options, but apart from that, everybody is either still injured or available for selection.”