Wolverhampton V Everton at Molineux Stadium - Match Preview
Updated Saturday, 5th May 2012
Henry keen for happy ending
Captain Karl Henry has challenged relegated Wolves to end their home programme on a high against Everton on Sunday after admitting their form at Molineux this season has been "atrocious."
Wolves have lost nine successive Barclays Premier League matches in front of their own fans and last tasted a home victory against Sunderland in early December.
It is a run which sealed their fate in terms of losing their top-flight status after three seasons and opposing teams have exploited their leaky defence.
Henry said: "Our home form has been atrocious this season and it would be good to send the fans home happy on Sunday with something to shout about.
"There's no pressure on us now and hopefully we can go out with a bit of pride. We've been poor at home.
"Maybe away from home, teams set up a bit differently, maybe more defensively looking for a point whereas at home, sides look for all three from the start and we've been caught out.
"When you attack, you commit players higher up the pitch and leave people one on one and at times.
"All of a sudden, the ball is launched and as a defence, you have to stay strong - but our defence hasn't always done that."
Henry has joined the likes of Dave Edwards, Stephen Ward, Michael Kightly and Stephen Hunt in backing interim manager Terry Connor, who replaced the sacked Mick McCarthy with 13 games remaining.
The midfielder also feels Wolves would have more chance of keeping holding of some of their leading players if Connor remains at the helm on a full-time basis.
Henry said: "If you part company with any manager, there's always a transitional period. You can't just click your fingers and things start going well straight away.
"Any manager needs time. TC (Connor) has worked here for a long time and under Mick for a number of years - but if he'd carried on working in the same way as Mick, supporters would have been even more fed up.
"He's tried to bring his own ideas to the team and play his way, but it takes time.
"Under the circumstances, he's done a really good job and it wasn't his fault that he took over when he did with such limited time left.
"I think we've done well over the last few games.
"The performance after going down to 10 men against Arsenal was good and we followed that up by getting a point at Sunderland. Then we did really well at Swansea to draw after being 4-1 down."
Matt Jarvis (groin) and right-back Kevin Foley (hamstring) are doubtful for the meeting with the Toffees.
Everton left-back Leighton Baines has been ruled out of the encounter despite progressing well in his recovery from a hamstring problem.
Forward Victor Anichebe is also missing after suffering a groin injury in midweek and joins midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) on the sidelines.
Versatile captain Phil Neville and midfielder Darron Gibson could also be doubtful after suffering slight knocks.
Everton boss David Moyes believes the role of his side's defence has been overlooked in their recent resurgence.
Moyes feels his defenders received some unfair criticism during the Toffees' sluggish start to the campaign because deficiencies elsewhere on the pitch left them exposed.
Now the Merseysiders appear to be making their customary strong finish to a season, it is the likes of attacking pair Nikica Jelavic and playmaker Steven Pienaar who are earning the plaudits.
Yet while Moyes is delighted with the performances of both those two January signings, and another new arrival in Gibson, the Scot is not overlooking his backline.
Moyes said: "I think we have always had a strong defensive base and that is why we tend to be strong.
"But at the start of the year we were being asked questions about the goals we were conceding but we weren't playing that well and we couldn't score.
"But over the year we have tended to be quite defensively strong and hopefully we will finish with a strong defensive record.
"In the last few games it's been important to keep clean sheets to encourage us to get more points.
"I think we have all had a big lift from scoring the goals from January. Let's hope we continue to do so."