Q&A With Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • February 02, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/b3cda

Robert Kostur shares the Wolverhampton Wanderers view on former Bolton trio Benik Afobe, Joe Mason and Adam Le Fondre, as well as admiration for Zach Clough.

Neil Lennon's side travel to Molineux on Tuesday, three days after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Leeds United. Wolves, meanwhile, have had ten days to prepare, following their 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have got the views of Rob (@Robbo_WWFC).

Q: Wolves were tipped by many to be contenders for promotion this season but currently lie mid-table, nine points adrift of the play-offs. With some starting to doubt manager Kenny Jackett, what is the target for the remaining 17 games of the campaign?

A: Kenny Jackett has, in many ways, been unlucky. To lose two-thirds of last season's core attacking trio by the end of August is a recipe for trouble, likewise losing your vice-captain and best defender without replacing him until late January. Throw in a chairman throwing his toys out of the pram and you're always going to struggle.

But, despite all this, Wolves are still in play-off contention. It would be typical of the rollercoaster that is this club to have a late surge (similar to last year), but I think most fans would settle for a comfortable, solid top half spot right now.

Q: After the departure of former Bolton forward Benik Afobe, Wolves moved to complete the signing of another ex-Trotter, Joe Mason, who could make his debut on Tuesday. Do you think Afobe has what it takes to be a success in the Premier League, and what are your expectations for his replacement?

A: I must admit, when he first went to Bournemouth I did have my reservations as to whether he could cut it at that level. Particularly this season, he's tried to be all things to everyone - often coming as deep as the halfway line and rarely ending up in the box - but his explosive start has me thinking that, with the right service and with pace around him, he can be a success.

As for Mason, I wasn't particularly overwhelmed, especially with the rumoured £3m price tag, but the more I hear about him, the more he reminds me of former-Wolves man Andy Keogh. A workhorse, someone who does the dirty running and pulls defences apart. He could be just what we need to get a toothless attack back on track.

Q: Adam Le Fondre was a huge hit during a loan spell at Macron Stadium last season, topping the club's goalscoring charts despite featuring just 17 times. He's been largely restricted to a substitutes' role this season and has struggled in front of goal, so what appears to be the problem?

A: I have always been a huge fan of Le Fondre, going back to his Rotherham days, and when we signed him I was certain we had a striker who would hit 15 goals no problem. But we simply haven't played to his strengths.

His best periods of football have often come with a bigger target man alongside him, but too often we've employed him as a lone forward in a 4-2-3-1 and hoofed it up to him.

ALF's best games in a Wolves shirt have come when he's actually had someone playing alongside him up front, not just behind him. Hopefully, with Mason's arrival, that's something that can be rectified in the second half of this season.

Q: Bolton's off-field problems have been well documented and they enter the midweek game at Molineux five points from safety. With that being said, does the club's financial situation provide Neil Lennon with a reasonable excuse for their lowly position, or should be be performing better with a squad capable of beating the drop?

A: Neil Lennon has, in my opinion, worked wonders in his time at Bolton. The club, sadly, has been on a downward curve ever since relegation from the Premier League, and he's succeeded with very limited resources.

When you end up in a situation like Bolton are in, where people aren't getting paid and you're not sure if you're even going to have a club to work for, then the football here and now on the pitch suddenly begins to take on a lesser significance.

Q: Sticking with financial issues, who, if anybody, would you like to sign from the Trotters squad with players potentially available at cut-price deals?

A: Zach Clough, without even thinking about it. Myself, and many other Wolves fans, have been crying out on Twitter for the club to sign the exciting young forward, but the reported interest in the player seems to have died off now.

I still hold out hope that it'll be the Wanderers of Wolverhampton that he'll be representing on Tuesday, but, with his recent record for Bolton against us, it's more likely that I'll spend most of Tuesday night wishing he wasn't on the pitch at all!

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Tuesday's game?

A: Very rarely a dull game between the sides, and with both sides needing the points I'm going for an open 3-2 Wolves win.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Rob for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @Robbo_WWFC.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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