JAKE Wright is ready to do his bit to help Yoan Zouma realise his potential at Wanderers.

The on-loan Sheffield United defender has nearly 300 career games under his belt and sees an opportunity for the man who played alongside him on Saturday to do exactly the same.

Zouma has become a fan-favourite since breaking into the team at the start of this season and, alongside the likes of Dennis Politic and Sonny Graham, have held down a regular spot since Keith Hill’s arrival.

Wright, 33, is only too happy to pass on his experience to help Zouma make the most of his physical talent.

“All the young lads have been brilliant and when you look at what they have been up against – lads who have 200-300 games under their belt – it makes what they have done that bit better,” he said.

“Of course there are times when they need that guiding hand. There’s only one way you get it, and that’s by playing games. The good thing for these lads is that they are learning on the job and I think there’s enough players like myself out there who can get them through games.

“I have got Zouma next to me and he’s got everything – so quick, so strong, so aggressive – but sometimes his positioning isn’t quite right. That comes with experience and I think he’s getting better with each passing game.”

Manager Hill has had to show some tough love to Zouma in the last few weeks but picks the 21-year-old out as a potential club captain of the future.

Wright and the other senior pros in the dressing room are also lending a helping hand in an effort to shine up a potential diamond in the rough.

“I try and speak to him as much as I can. I really like him, he trains well, has a good attitude and gives everything. The fans can see that.

“If he carries on like that then there’s a chance he’ll have a big future but he needs to keep learning, keep listening to the gaffer and the players around him and he’ll be fine.”

Hill admitted playing Wright after a prolonged spell on the side-lines with a hamstring injury had been a risk but the former Sheffield United man was only too happy to roll up his sleeves and contribute.

“I’d only trained Friday for the first day after six weeks so I knew it would be a difficult game to get through,” he said. “I don’t think it helps when you get booked after three minutes, either.

“I just had to get on with it. We had a lot of injuries, a lot of players out, so I had to put my hand up and say I could play. The gaffer put his trust in me and we got the three points.

“I’d never be 100 per cent ready at that stage, it’s about sharpness, it was a risk worth taking. I got a few stitches in my eye but I was fine physically, hamstring is fine, so that is all good.”

An early booking against Fleetwood may have dented Wright’s bravado, but the defender managed to recover to help his side see out an important victory.

“The booking was my own fault as well, bad pass, and I have played with Wes (Burns) before and I know that he’s quicker than me and I had to bring him down,” he said.

“Luckily the lads were behind me and I didn’t get sent off.

“I think it got me going, actually, I got myself sorted after that. But it does make it difficult for the rest of the game because you are scared of getting too tight with anyone but I had big Zouma next to me doing all my running, so I was okay.”

Wanderers are now just two points from ‘zero’ going into the FA Cup weekend, and Wright believes the team’s condition has improved considerably since a 6-1 hammering at Rotherham on his debut back in mid-September.

“We’re not really thinking about the table – the gaffer has said all along that once we start getting fit, we’ll get results,” he said.

“Those first five or six games we weren’t fit enough. We’d play for 50-60 minutes and then tail off. Maybe a few weeks ago we’d have drawn 2-2 against Fleetwood because we couldn’t last the pace.

“I think he’s getting the majority of the lads to where he wants them now, and the results are showing that.”