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Hunt: 'we need points fast' Wolves man relishing relegation fight

IRELAND man Stephen Hunt, back in action after a four-month absence due to injury, has challenged his Wolves team-mates to get their act together to make sure they don't follow the example of clubs like Portsmouth and slide down another division.

It was another frustrating weekend for Wolves -- now seven games without a win and hovering near the Championship relegation zone -- as they lost 2-1 at home to Blackpool. But it was a big weekend for Hunt as he made his first appearance, for club or country, since October.

Out of contract in the summer, even Hunt's short-term future at the club could be in doubt as boss Dean Saunders is keen to offload players and freshen up the squad before the transfer deadline close.

But for now, Hunt's focus is on re-establishing himself in the Wolves side and helping them move up the table.

"I've said to the boys that we need to get going quickly so we're not involved in the scramble to stay up," said the 31-year-old.

"No team in this division can say they're too good to avoid the drop because it can happen if they're not at it.

"We need to be at the races because you have to earn the right to play in this division. Look at Portsmouth -- they got to an FA Cup final and now they're in League One.

"They've had a shock. I'm not saying we're in trouble or anything but we need to pick up points quickly and try to get rid of the doom and gloom."

Some of the gloom, however, has lifted for Hunt as he managed to work his way back into the side and almost on schedule. When he met the media in Dublin before Christmas to speak about his recovery, Hunt said he intended to be back in the Wolves side by January and back in the Ireland squad for the March World Cup games against Sweden and Austria.


"It was nice to get 20-odd minutes under my belt, even though it was at left-back," he said after his appearance against Blackpool.

"I've played there before and I don't mind playing there, it's just disappointing to lose.

"I've been out for four months and I've had four days' training so, to be fair, I said to the boss on Friday that I've ran my socks off for six weeks knowing that if I got fit, I could hopefully come straight back into the team.

"From my point of view, all I want to do is play because I know how frustrated I've been for the last four months -- being stuck in the gym. So I'm not going to get involved in all the doom and gloom. I'm just going to enjoy it and try to score some goals."

Hunt is also keen to reignite his international career. The former Reading and Hull man has not appeared in any of the last nine Ireland games and his most recent cap came in the friendly against Hungary before the Euro 2012 finals.

But the Waterford native is on record as saying he's keen to get back into the frame, though the arrival of new players like Anthony Pilkington and Robbie Brady has made things more difficult.