Extra day means pair could be fit

WOLVES boss Mick McCarthy is sweating on the fitness of two key players in the build-up to tonight's home game against Colchester.Striker Jay Boothroyd and attacking midfielder Michael Kightly are joint second in the goalscoring charts for Wanderers this season, although both limped off during Sunday's bruising West Midlands derby at West Brom, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

By Carl Marston

WOLVES boss Mick McCarthy is sweating on the fitness of two key players in the build-up to tonight's home game against Colchester.

Striker Jay Boothroyd and attacking midfielder Michael Kightly are joint second in the goalscoring charts for Wanderers this season, although both limped off during Sunday's bruising West Midlands derby at West Brom, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Boothroyd is hoping to recover from a dead leg, but Kightly might be struggling to overcome an ankle strain that forced his departure after an hour against the Baggies.


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A fitness doubt also surrounds key midfielder Seyi Olofinjana - the Nigerian international was close to scoring on Sunday.

However, McCarthy had the luxury of being able to introduce Freddy Eastwood as a substitute for Kightly on Sunday. Ex-Southend hot-shot Eastwood, who was the Shrimpers leading scorer for the previous three seasons, moved to Molineux over the summer.

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Speaking about his injury concerns, ex-Republic of Ireland boss McCarthy said: “With the game being played on a Wednesday rather than Tuesday, it gives both (Kightly and Boothroyd) an extra 24 hours.”

Ex-Scunthorpe striker Andy Keogh, a £600,000 purchase from Glanford Park at the start of the year, returns to the squad this evening after a spell on the sidelines with a hernia.

However, Wolves' main strength has been in defence rather than attack - they have let in only 15 goals in 17 fixtures.

The experienced Jody Craddock marshals this miserly defence. The 32-year-old began his career at Cambridge United in 1993, and eventually signed for Wolves from Sunderland in a £1.75m deal just over four years ago.

Darren Ward, who was third-choice centre-half at Crystal Palace last term, has been partnering Craddock at the back, flanked by full-backs Kevin Foley and Neill Collins.

Wayne Hennessey is ultimately the man that Colchester will have to beat. This 20-year-old had the distinction of keeping nine successive clean-sheets in his first nine games on loan at Stockport County, setting a Football League record in the process.

Wolves have only lost one of their last 11 matches - at Portman Road when Ipswich chalked up a 3-0 win.

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