Kightly to miss Bolton clash

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Wolves will be without winger Michael Kightly against Bolton as he prepares to undergo surgery on the ankle injury suffered during the home reversal against Birmingham last weekend.

Kightly had only just returned to action after seven months on the sidelines because of foot and hip setbacks and now faces a further two months out.

Defender Ronald Zubar and striker Chris Iwelumo are still not ready to return from injury.

But Wolves boss Mick McCarthy expects Greg Halford and Stefan Maierhofer to recover from knocks sustained in training as his side look to end an eight game winless sequence.

Mick McCarthy has challenged his players to emulate the recent runs of Birmingham and Hull as he looks to bounce back from the worst 45 minutes he can remember in Saturday's home clash with Bolton.

McCarthy left his players on their own to watch a video rerun of the setback against Blues last Sunday and in particular the dismal opening half in the 1-0 defeat.

He admits the recent four-goal maulings by top four sides Arsenal and Chelsea caused more damage to confidence that he had envisaged.

But the former Republic of Ireland boss still has faith in his squad and wants them to repeat the kind of sequence of results which has carried previously struggling Birmingham and Hull out of the danger zone.

McCarthy said: "It's lot easier to come to work when you are winning and things are going great. It's easier then to have a smile on your face but we've still managed that and have still been positive about things.

"It's been harder than normal but we are still cracking on.

"We've just had a bad run of games. It was the worst 45 minutes I can remember against Birmingham. I can't remember anything worse than that.

"We need to have a similar run now to what Hull have just had, to what Birmingham have just had - and some of those teams will have a bad run. It will turn around.

"Blues showed how quickly it can turn around. We've had a bad spell with the games we've had but someone else will have a bad month.

"We now need to have a good month. What would that be? If we win two home games (against Bolton and Burnley) that would be a start and if we do that, we won't be too far off where we want to be.

"Saturday is a huge game for both of us, a massive game for both of us, our home game against a team we'd be expected to beat. We need three points.

"We have to get back to like we played against Stoke (in the) second half, Aston Villa and Everton."

Bolton will have to make do without skipper Kevin Davies.

The striker serves a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign against Fulham last Sunday.

Otherwise, aside from long-term absentees Sean Davis and Joey O'Brien, manager Gary Megson has a full squad to choose from.

Megson has urged Bolton's players to catch up with the pack in the lower half of the Barclays Premier League.

It has been a disappointing season so far for the Trotters, who find themselves 18th in the table after picking up only 12 points from their opening 13 games.

Whilst sides tipped for drop like Birmingham and Burnley - currently 11th and 12th respectively - have made relatively comfortable starts to the campaign, Bolton have struggled and go into Saturday's match at Wolves in dire need of a victory.

With their opponents two points worse off in 19th place, the clash at Molineux offers Bolton the chance to pull clear of Mick McCarthy's side and potentially lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

Megson, however, has his sights set even higher and believes his team should be keeping pace with the over-achievers sitting more comfortably in mid-table.

"We can do ourselves a power of good (on Saturday), but it's not just between ourselves and Wolves - we've got to get back into that pack," Megson said.

"Birmingham are 11th with six more points than we have got.

"We have got to get back into there and try and get ourselves further up the table."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Sean Davis
Stoke City
Joey O'Brien
Bolton Wanderers
Chris Iwelumo
Premier League
Greg Halford
Michael Kightly
Aston Villa
Hull City
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Kevin Davies

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