Sam Vokes is convinced the Carling Cup could provide the springboard he and the other young Wolverhampton Wanderers’ stars need to persuade manager Mick McCarthy to consider them for Barclays Premier League duty this season.
The young Wales international featured in the Wanderers’ dramatic penalty win over Swindon Town at Molineux in midweek, scoring one of the spot kicks in the 6-5 victory. He hopes that his contribution has convinced his manager to start him in the home match against Hull City on Saturday.
The striker became something of an impact player last season, making 35 appearances from the bench. He joined Wolves from Bournemouth 15 months ago and was thrilled that the cup game provided him with his eighth start in gold and black.
“The Carling Cup could be a good competition for players like myself who have been coming off the bench in the league to get a start or two,” he said.
“Every player wants to be starting but for me it’s great experience to be coming on in the Premier League and to top it off with starts in the cup games is good.”
Vokes, 19, admitted there were no easy games at this level – in the league or in the cup – as Swindon proved by taking their hosts to the penalty shoot-out.
“It was a hard-fought game against Swindon,” he said. “But we expected that from a team like them coming here. We had the same with Accrington Stanley last season.
“”In the end we managed to get the job done and get through.”
Vokes is convinced teams are giving Wolves some respect but also becoming more determined to beat them now they are a Premier League outfit.
“Now we’re in the Premier League teams are going to come here looking for an even bigger scalp and Swindon did well,” the player said. “We created plenty of chances and they hit the woodwork but neither of us were able to convert any of them to win the game in normal time. It was a long 120 minutes but we managed to produce some good penalties to get through.”
Vokes was delighted to be among the successful penalty-takers who had helped ensure Wolves broke a club record – their first 100 per cent record in a penalty shoot-out with all six strikes converted.
“I just walked up and blanked everything else out,” he said. “You have to make sure you know where you are going to put the ball and are not indecisive.
“The worst thing is changing your mind on the spur of the moment but there were some very good penalties from both sides. We’re into the next round and hopefully will be rewarded with another home draw.”