Kenny Jackett has told Wolverhampton Wanderers' official site that he believes the side have missed Danny Batth's presence this season.
Batth missed much of the early part of the campaign with injury, but he returned to the starting line-up last weekend against Preston North End.
Although the 25-year-old's comeback game was one which Wolves drew 1-1, his calmness at the back was very noticeable, and Jackett believes that he could be key to his team's chances this term.
“I feel we have missed Danny,” Jackett said. “On Saturday he played very well for his first game back – he was very assured, and as he plays more games he will grow in fitness and confidence.
“It is his time now – he is a good centre back and will consistently keep improving because his attitude is excellent.”
Wolves have generally been well organised under Jackett, but defensively they have started this season in dire form.
The Midlands outfit have conceded 11 times in their first eight Championship fixtures, and the porous nature of their defence has left them down in 16th place.
Jackett will be hoping that Batth's return can spark an up-turn in his side's form, and calm the unrest being felt around Molineux at the moment.
Wolves' decision to sell Richard Stearman, who was the side's player of the season last term, to Fulham has been widely criticised, and Batth will need to step-up if he is to prove that transfer wasn't a mistake.