Recently by Dayle Crutchlow
NEW Swansea City recruit Dimitrios Konstantopoulos is ready to step into the firing line when Roberto Martinez's side tackle Wolves tonight.
The 6ft 4in goalkeeper was left on the bench as Swansea eased past Southampton on Saturday after completing a last-minute loan move from Coventry City.
But now Konstantopoulos is hoping Martinez opts for him ahead of Artur Krysiak despite the fact the teenage Pole kept a clean sheet against the Saints.
Martinez, as ever, is keeping his cards close to his chest over who will start in goal.
But he may be tempted to call on Konstantopoulos for tonight's evening's tricky trip to Molineux because of his greater experience.
"I'll be looking to play against Wolves," Konstantopoulos said.
"I have come here to try to get back in action and play a few games.
"But of course, it's up to the manager. You can understand why he went for Artur on Saturday because I hadn't even spoken to any of the other players.
"It's difficult to come in and play when that's the case, especially as a keeper because you need to have good communication with your back four.
"But I have to show the manager that I am ready and hope he puts me in."
A first-team regular and fans' favourite at Hartlepool, Konstantopoulos stepped up a division to Coventry when Iain Dowie landed him on a Bosman free transfer in the summer of 2007.
Life at the Ricoh Arena began reasonably enough for the 29-year-old Greek but, after 23 appearances, he lost his place when Chris Coleman took charge of the Sky Blues.
His chances of regaining the No. 1 jersey took another jolt when Swansea-born Coleman splashed out £750,000 on Carlisle stopper Keiren Westwood over the summer.
"The manager changed and I didn't get many chances," added Konstantopoulos.
"We have a new keeper this season and it's great for me to come to a really good club like Swansea."
Signed initially for a month, Konstantopoulos may well be asked to extend his temporary stay with Dorus de Vries out for around six weeks.
And given that Krysiak's loan from Birmingham comes to an end in December, it is not inconceivable that the former Greek Under-21 international could be offered the chance to stay at Swansea in the long term.
Would he be keen?
"It's too early to say," says Konstantopoulos.
"We will see how things go in the next couple of weeks.
"I haven't had any discussions about that and for the moment it's about me trying to help the team and, hopefully, benefiting at the same time.
"I would say that in the short period of time I have been here, everything has been positive.
"But we will have to think about possibly staying on later."
Konstantopoulos accepts that he is anything but a shoo-in for the Wolves game given that Krysiak marked his Swansea debut with a shut-out.
It should be pointed out, though, that the youngster did not have the busiest shift on his Championship bow against a toothless Southampton side.
Martinez's dilemma is whether to give the callow Krysiak another opportunity in what is likely to be a much more demanding fixture, or go for his more seasoned option.
Konstantopoulos was quick to pay tribute to Krysiak after watching his tidy display against the Saints, saying: "Maybe he didn't have that much to do, but what he did he did very well.
"He looked calm and the clean sheet will have done a lot of good for his confidence.
"I think Saturday was a huge experience for him."
Krysiak was not the only man in Swansea colours who impressed the latest addition to their increasingly cosmopolitan squad.
"Swansea played some very good football," reckons Konstantopoulos.
"They tried to get the ball down all the time and to play it out wide which makes them attractive to watch.
"Not only that, it's successful too, because they scored three goals.
"I saw them a few times in League One last season. The manager has his mentality and the players have obviously responded to that.
"They played good football last year and, as they are showing, that style can get you results whoever you're up against."
As proved just over three weeks ago against Wolves.
Mick McCarthy's team were outplayed in a 3-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium, but they are likely to prove a different proposition with a couple of key players back in action on home soil tonight.
Still, Konstantopoulos reckons Swansea can get another positive result against one of the Championship's big guns.
"It's going to be difficult because Wolves are especially good at home," he says.
"But from what I have seen of Swansea, they have nothing to fear in this division.
"More performances like the one against Southampton and they will have no problems."
Coventry City will reduce their asking price for Michael Mifsud from £1.5 million to £750,000, the News of the World reported yesterday.
The Malta striker's contract runs out at the end of the season and speculation has been rife that the Sky Blues intend to cash in on the 27-year-old in January.
The News of the World claims that Coventry's readiness to slash Mifsud's transfer fee is likely to alert Norwich and Crystal Palace. Sheffield United could also join the race after club chairman Kevin McCabe last week revealed his interest in Mifsud.
On Saturday, Mifsud set up Clinton Morrison for Coventry's late equaliser in a 1-1 home draw against Derby Country.
IAIN DOWIE insists he has 'no regrets' about his spell in charge of Coventry as he prepares to return there with QPR tomorrow.
The Rangers boss was sacked last February after almost exactly a year in charge, during which he guided them to memorable cup wins at Manchester United and Blackburn.
But Dowie, who has reassembled his Coventry backroom team - assistant Tim Flowers and performance manager John Harbin - at Loftus Road, feels his record at the Ricoh Arena stands up to scrutiny.
"I look back on my time at Coventry with no regrets, but other people come in and they've got their own ideas, which is fair enough," he said.
"I had a great time there and I was very pleased with the job I did, given that the club were on the verge of administration a couple of times and the players weren't being paid.
"We staved off relegation, which was a real danger at one stage, and then the cup runs the following season were fantastic. To go to Manchester United in the Carling Cup and win 2-0 was incredible and we should have beaten West Ham in the next round as well.
"To have 11,000 fans shouting for us at Old Trafford was something special - and I'll be hoping for the same from the QPR fans when we go to Aston Villa next week.
"Some of the players we brought in have done really well - Leon Best, Dan Fox and Scott Dann, for instance - and I think they've got a good squad now.
"Chris Coleman's a very good friend of mine and I'm sure he'll do well there. I had a good relationship with the Coventry supporters and I'm looking forward to going there on Saturday, as we all are.
"We need to make sure we're difficult to beat and if we play with the same tenacity we've shown in our last two away games, I'm sure we'll get a result."
SHEFFIELD UNITED defender Sun Jihai has been charged with improper conduct by the FA for his reaction to being shown a red card for his tackle on Michael Mifsud in Tuesday's 1-1 draw against the Sky Blues.
* Read further Coventry City news, check out our video vault and fans' opinions on the Coventry City Banter site
ROBBIE Keane may be struggling at new club Liverpool, but many Coventry City supporters will always have a fondness for him.
And not least for this moment in 2003, when he scored against the Sky Blues for Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup.
Showing absolute respect to his former club, Robbie eschewed his usual flamboyant goal celebration and merely walked away.
And it wasn't the first time he'd shown such respect. He did exactly the same when playing for Leeds, with that goal helping to condemn coventry to relegation.
Fair play Robbie.
The transfer window closed without Alex McLeish bringing any new players to Birmingham City but if one existing member of the squad rediscovers his best form, the manager believes it would be like signing a new £4 million striker.
Gary McSheffrey set Blues alight during his first season at the club following his transfer from Coventry City and was top scorer as they gained promotion to the Premier League under Steve Bruce. However, he failed to make an impact at the top level and has yet to rediscover the electric form that took the Championship by storm.
The intelligent midfielder was questioned about his performances last season and when it was put to him that he was too good for the Championship and not good enough for the Premier League, he replied: "Well, I can't play anywhere then because there isn't a division in between!"
Blues fans are hoping he could rediscover that form of two years ago this season and once again spearhead a surge for promotion by scoring valuable goals from the left wing.
However, the arrival of Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has restricted his starting opportunities and when he was given an opportunity at Southampton in the Carling Cup, he had a poor game and was substituted at half time.
He then missed a gilt-edged chance to score a winner at Norwich City at the weekend after coming on as a second half substitute, although his overall performance was encouraging. Team-mate Marcus Bent expressed his frustration towards his team-mate when he lobbed a shot onto the roof of the net after Bent had teed him up and McLeish feels he just needs to rediscover his confidence in front of goal.