Q&A With Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • November 24, 2017 | By Gabe John
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/3af2c

Wolverhampton Wanderers have their sights set on European football, with promotion to the Premier League the only target this season.

Those are the views of Wolves supporter Robert Kostur (@Robbo_WWFC), who spoke to us ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between themselves and Bolton.

In the following Q&A interview, Robert shares his views on Nuno Espirito Santo's time in charge at Molineux, why the current squad may be just a step above other second-tier sides, as well as the opposition view on Trotters midfielder Karl Henry.

Q: Wolves are the high flyers in the Championship at the moment, sitting comfortably at the top of the table with a four point lead. What has the been the key factor for this season's monumental start?

A: One word - Nuno.

He came in early in the summer and identified exactly what was needed. His transfers in and out have been spot on, cutting down a bloated squad and building from the back with six defenders signed over the summer, plus goalkeeper John Ruddy on a free.

He's now got a squad with at least two quality players in every position and it's shown - we beat Southampton away and took Manchester City to penalties, and made 10/11 changes in both.

But his introduction of a 3-4-3 has been a masterstroke. There's always an option for the man on the ball, it can become a five at the back and tough to break down, and it's deadly on the counter as Leeds found out on Wednesday.

There honestly doesn't seem an obvious fault with the set up.

Q: Wolves spent big money in the summer transfer window, most notably on midfielder Ruben Neves. What sort of impact has he had on the side and is he living up to the outstanding £16million fee paid?

A: He's had a huge impact. He keeps us ticking over and so much of our possession philosophy goes through him.

It's no coincidence his 'quiet' patch came during a period of the season where we struggled to break teams down and didn't look our fluent selves.

£16million may be a bit much for the Championship, but it's a price to pay for his phenomenal potential.

Q: Wolves are definitely a club on the up, with large investment and a strong fan base. Where do you see the club in five years' time and, looking at Bolton, where do you see us at that same time?

A: It's a shame to see how bad things have gotten for Bolton. When I was growing up, they were always the model Premier League outfit.

This season is huge for the club. From what I've seen, you're not far off getting the results to get you on track - throwing away a comfortable lead against Reading was a real blow.

The way it's going right now, I can sadly only see the club comfortable in the bottom half of the Championship. Steady, if unspectacular, but I can imagine after a turbulent few years there's a section of Whites support that would settle for that.

As for Wolves, we're all still in dreamland and I personally can't believe this is happening to our club. There's talk, if we go up, of an unlimited budget and, with our connections with super agent Jorge Mendes, I can only see this club pushing for European football within 2-3 years.

Q: Karl Henry will be a familiar name to the Wolves faithful. What did you make of his time at Molineux, as he's had a really positive effect on the Wanderers team of late?

A: For the first few years, Karl was an icon of everything the 'new' Wolves were under Mick McCarthy.

A local lad captaining his team with a real passion and bite in midfield. But, unfortunately, the 'tackling' scandal led by Fulham's Danny Murphy saw him curb his game, lose his effectiveness and become a liability.

Losing the captain's armband to new signing Roger Johnson was the beginning of the end of Henry here. He didn't seem interested and that only increased once we were relegated.

New manager Stale Solbakken came in with new ideas and Henry seemed - from the outside - to be a big leader against the manager who, ultimately, was sacked. It's a shame how it ended for Karl here and the reception he gets on Saturday will be very interesting to see.

Q: Looking forward to Saturday, who do you view as Wolves' biggest threat to Bolton?

A: Undoubtedly, Diogo Jota is the hottest property in the Championship right now. His close control is unbelievable and when he's running at defenders, they simply don't know what to do.

Ivan Cavaleiro - when he's on form - is unplayable. He tore Leeds apart for the first 30 minutes on Wednesday but he does fade, generally after about an hour. But we can then bring on Helder Costa - our Player of the Year and top scorer last season.

The quality going forward is unreal and in Barry Douglas we have a left wing-back who has six assists this season and a lethal dead-ball delivery.

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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