Kenny Back (Sort Of) In The Match-Night Routine
Kenny Hibbitt is relishing the prospect of following his beloved Wolves back into the Premier League arena.
The former Molineux midfielder loved every minute of Saturday’s impressive comeback victory at West Ham and has his own first match of restart tomorrow when he reports for duty at the Leicester v Brighton clash.
“I was a reserve at the weekend for Watford v Leicester and am also standing by in case I am needed at the Villa v Wolves game on Saturday,” said the long-time FA delegate.
“My car has enjoyed a good long break here but now I am looking forward to getting going again.
“I have spent some time today reading up on where I can and can’t go at the ground tomorrow and making sure I don’t wander into one of the zones that are out of bounds. Things are obviously going to be different for a while.”
Football’s ‘new normal’ also means Hibbitt will be away from home for a shorter time and will presumably have nothing like the familiar match-night congestion to contend with.
“I am normally at a game two and a half hours before kick-off but that is much reduced for now,” he added.
“I can also get away almost straight after the end and will have a meeting with the referee, Lee Mason, on the phone on Wednesday morning.
“I would usually see the referee and his assistants for a debrief before leaving a stadium, so this change of arrangements is part of the new procedure I am having to become familiar with before I go to Leicester.”
The 69-year-old has already done some preparation work by making himself aware of the eerie atmosphere he will encounter in the East Midlands.
Not for him the made-for-TV ‘crowd noises’ that have kept the viewing experience as normal as possible for many of us at home.
“I know you can watch it with the special effects but I have chosen to view it as closely as possible to what the players are actually experiencing,” he added.
“I never played a match behind closed doors, other than practice games, and have felt for the players in some cases.
“They have all got used to being lifted over the years by a home crowd but there’s nothing like that to pick them up at the moment if they go a goal behind.
“I can relate to that from my playing days and appreciate that it must be difficult to deal with. That might well be why home advantage doesn’t seem to count for much at present.”