DARREN Ward is not about to start making plans for his summer holidays just yet, despite Swindon Town sitting eight points off the League One play-off places with 11 games remaining of the season.
The Robins captain refuses to accept that his side are out of the race for a top six spot, saying the 33 points still on offer represents a “huge amount”.
Town, who entertain Wolves at the County Ground tonight, require another 28 points to hit the average for sixth place over the past decade and, while it remains a possibility, Ward is not about to throw in the towel and begin booking flights and stocking up on sun cream.
“There’s still 11 games, that’s 33 points – it’s a huge amount of points,” he said. “Never say never, especially with 11 games to go. You never know in football, you always get a late runner who gets very close and it would be great if we could.
“It’s certainly not a case when you start booking holidays and chill out, that’s certainly not my way of thought and it’s not what I would do. We’ve got to keep going, if not for this season then for next season.”
After the 2-1 home defeat to MK Dons on Saturday, Ward feels the visit of high-flying Wolves, who have won each of their last eight matches, provides the perfect opportunity for Town’s players to refocus and regroup.
“I think it could be a better game for us to play after today’s result, where you have to get ready for it otherwise you know a team like Wolves can come and run riot,” he said.
“It’s for us to gather our thoughts together and look at today’s game and see what we can do to get the right result on Tuesday.”
Ward played 34 times for Wolves during an 18-month stint at Molineux between 2007 and early 2009 and he recalls his time at the Midlands club fondly.
“It’s a fantastic club, Wolves, a huge club. I feel very privileged to have played for a club like that in my career and enjoyed the experience,” he said. “I had no doubt they’d be up there this season with the budget and the success the current manager has got at this level, there’s no surprise there.”
The 35-year-old is friends with a number of Wolves’s current first-team squad, players he described as “having fire inside themselves” to succeed.
“Danny Batth centre-half, (Richard) Stearman is a really good guy and a good player, there’s a few. Dave Davis, Kev Foley is a good friend and a good player, they’re all very good players,” he said. “They’ve got fire inside themselves to go and do well in their careers and obviously they’ve all played in the Premiership.
“To be playing in League One the Wolves fans can be quite lucky in a way to have players like that playing for them at this level. I think it’s turned out so far a good move for the club to keep players like that.”