How winning goal at Leeds helped Wolves striker Clarke prove worth

Netting the winning goal at Leeds United has helped Leon Clarke to prove his worth to Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Kenny Jackett.

It is remarkable what one goal can do for a striker, with the floodgates often opened once acquaintances have been renewed with the back of the net.

Wolverhampton Wanderers are hoping that will prove to be the case with Leon Clarke, with a timely effort against Leeds United on Saturday helping to secure a dramatic 2-1 win at Elland Road and rebuild confidence in a player who has struggled since returning to Molineux for a second spell in January.

Clarke found the target just once in the second-half of the 2013/14 campaign, with the form he displayed in the sky blue of Coventry City unable to be replicated in the black and gold of Wolves.

His role has been tweaked slightly this term in an effort to get more out of him, with Kenny Jackett opting to deploy a man blessed with pace and power in abundance in a deep-lying post that links midfield and attack.

He may just have found his perfect position in the Championship, with Jackett now looking for Clarke to kick on and prove that talk of a possible move in the New Year is wide of the mark and that an extension to a contract due to expire next summer is a more realistic target.

  TeamPosGoalsTotal Att AssistTotal Scoring AttTotal ContestAppsMins
Leon Clarke Wolves FW 1 6 9 3 8 306

The Wolves boss said in the Express and Star: “Leon can do very well for this season and he still has a very good future."

“He did very well on Saturday and gave us another dimension. Leon has the quality, the football brain and the experience and that’s what we need at times in this role."

“He showed a lot of quality in terms of balls into him and retaining possession so we could get up the pitch."

“He’s worked hard and he’s had limited amount of chances because of what’s been a settled side, injury and probably the form of Dave Edwards."

"His link play was very good, he retained the ball very well and he got us up the pitch, and in terms of getting the winner, that will really help him.”

Clarke has been a much-travelled frontman since bursting onto the scene at Wolves in 2004/05, with 14 different clubs represented in 10 years.

A return to his roots was intended to help him settle, with time still very much on his side at 29 years of age.

He has all of the attributes required to be a success in the Football League, he just needs to add consistency to his game if he is to avoid packing his bags again for pastures new in the near future.

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