Q&A With Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • April 20, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton may be about to drop into the bottom three, but they should have enough to see off the threat of relegation.

Those are the views of Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter Robert Kostur (@Robbo_WWFC), who spoke to us ahead of the weekend clash between the two sides at Macron Stadium.

In the following Q&A interview, Robert shares his views on Wolves' journey from the Premier League to League One and back again, why the same achievement isn't necessarily beyond the reach of clubs like Bolton, as well as why Adam Le Fondre remains a key figure at this level despite enduring a difficult spell at Molineux in the 2015/16 campaign.

Q: Wolves spent well last summer and, barring a mathematical improbability, will be returning to the top-flight as Championship winners. Money aside, having finished 14th and 15th in each of the last two seasons, why have things suddenly clicked this time around?

A: There was a mass overhaul in the coaching staff last summer. Although Nuno has rightly grabbed the headlines, it's the introduction of Rui Pedro Silva, Julio Figueroa, Rui Barbosa and - probably most importantly - Antonio Dias (Fitness Coach) that gave this team a new lease of life.

The fitness and near ever-present nature of Matt Doherty and Barry Douglas has been pivotal to our success.

Recruitment has obviously played a part too and attracting quality like Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves has taken us to the next level, but ironically it's a free signing in Ryan Bennett and a player who was already here - Conor Coady - who have been two of the key players in our success.

Q: Your most recent spell in the Premier League ended back in 2012, when you were relegated alongside both Bolton and Blackburn Rovers. All three clubs have since spent time in League One, so does your success of this season prove the tide can be turned for the two Lancashire neighbours?

A: Definitely. If you look at some of the more successful sides in this and recent seasons - such as ourselves, Southampton, Leicester City, Sheffield United - they've all dipped down to League One before coming back stronger and I think both Bolton and Blackburn can replicate that.

Unfortunately finances and poor ownership/management have restricted both clubs' success in recent years but as seen with teams like Bournemouth, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town and Millwall; once that right combination clicks, the wave you can ride can be unbelievable.

Q: We know you'll be back amongst the elite from 2018/19, but how far can Wolves go under the guidance of Nuno Espirito Santo?

A: If you ask the bookies, they already think this team can finish comfortably in the top half next season, with some even offering relatively short prices on a top-six finish.

This is a long-term project here, with the owners and Nuno aiming to bring the glory days back to the club.

There has been a mantra within the fanbase of 'Europe in Three' and I personally think that's where we'll be. However we get there, I can see at least Europa League football being showcased in Wolverhampton in 3 seasons' time.

Q: With three games remaining, Bolton hover just two points above the relegation zone just weeks after victory over Aston Villa looked to have assured their safety. With a trip to Burton Albion and a home clash with Nottingham Forest to follow, which division do you see the Trotters playing in from next August?

A: The weekend's last minute giveaway at Barnsley was a huge blow to survival hopes, but I think Bolton have just enough to stay up. Burton will be a massive clash but, their recent thrashing of Derby aside, their home form is atrocious.

Living in Nottingham, I've had chance to watch plenty of Forest this season and they are definitely a team built for home games. Away from home they struggle to create and, once going a goal behind, don't have the momentum of their home support to help push them back into the game.

Both games are definitely winnable and, in comparison to Birmingham and Barnsley, the Trotters definitely have the best run in.

Q: Wolves ran out comfortable 5-1 winners in the reverse fixture last November. However, with more at stake this time around, who do you tip to be the key man on each side?

A: Every time Wolves face an ex-player (particularly strikers), there's an expectancy they'll come back to haunt us and that's no different this weekend.

Adam Le Fondre is definitely the biggest threat to the league leaders and we'll have to be on full alert to stop the poacher getting a sniff in the box as he can punish anyone.

And with the way Wolves love to attack down the flanks, Sammy Ameobi at full pace will be a danger on the counter attack.

For Wolves, one man stands out. Ruben Neves has hit the headlines lately for his ability to score from anywhere, but it's his raking crossfield passes and the way he dictates the tempo that makes him our key man.

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

A: I've never seen us win at Bolton, but I do feel that could change this weekend. 3-1 Wolves.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston