With the opening day of the 2015/16 season just around the corner for Wolves, fans have high hopes of a promotion chance when it closes to an end, by hoping the club can at least finish in a play-off position. Read on to see how the fans themselves give their opinions on certain topics, and ultimately how they believe they will do this season. Read on…
1) There has been plenty of action in the transfer window throughout the leagues; including Conor Coady signing for Wolves. What are you looking forward to seeing from him?
– He’s looked good in pre-season games so far, and he scored a good goal against Wolves last season. It would be great to see him chip in a few goals this season. Price and McDonald are far from prolific as they sit so deep. We need more goals from midfield if we’re going to challenge this year. We tried to sign him a year ago, so he’s clearly fancied by Kenny. Barring Leon Clarke, Kenny has got most of his signings spot on! – Phil Bradley (@wolvesbradders)
– Having managed to catch glimpses of him twice during pre-season, Coady appears to be a good addition (if a little bit pricey at £2.5 million). He’s a no-nonsense, hard tackling midfielder, something that we haven’t had since the days of (shudder) Karl Henry. If he can add steel to our midfield, he might be a major factor in making sure that we finish in the top six. – Liam Harris (@fakeliamharris)
2) What is the main factor Wolves need to improve on this year to increase their chances of promotion?
– Wolves need a plan B and providing that they sign an adequate replacement for Bakary Sako, this shouldn’t be an issue. Kenny Jackett has persevered with a narrow diamond during pre-season, while also showcasing the 4-2-3-1 setup that Wolves fans have been used to for the past two seasons. The club’s biggest downfall last year was the so called ‘Nightmare November’ period, where Wolves dropped key points against promotions hopefuls Derby and Brentford, amongst others. This was largely due to an injury to Nouha Dicko who at the time was our only striker that could play ‘the Wolves way’. – Ross Watson (@rossowenwatson)
– Wolves need to be consistent this year, and make sure they give it 100% in every game. Silly slip ups last season cost wolves a play off place, such as the slip from Goldbourne which cost us a loss at Birmingham away. Also, a five game defeated run in November cost us dearly. Wolves need to not let a defeat put them down and keep momentum high. – Harry Sanger (@harrysanger_)
3) Are you happy with Wolves’ current squad going into the season? Why? Or are you hoping for one or two signings during the month? If so, which position needs strengthening the most?
– The squad is looking decent. Coady and Jed Wallace are fantastic signings and the loan signing of Adam Le Fondre is a perfect addition to Dicko and Afobe upfront, offering something slightly different from the bench. We could really do with a replacement for the outgoing Sako though! – Phil Weatherill (@PhilWeatherill)
– I’m one of those who felt we didn’t need to make huge changes. I’m happy with the latest addition, which is the young winger, Ojo, from Liverpool on loan. I’m a firm believer in evolving the squad and don’t see the point in wholesale changes as that becomes impossible to integrate. This now means we have brought four players in. I do like that Jackett doesn’t share one of his predecessor’s habit of signing for the hell of it!
If it was the ideal world, I’d love to see us sign a permanent, top class replacement for Sako, ideally Lingard, or Powell from United. – Stu Hale (@StuHale)
4) Do you think that the absence of Bakary Sako will be a big blow for Wolves? Why?
– Bakary Sako became a talisman for Wolves thanks to his unorthodox trickery and the edge of your seat entertainment he provided. No one could really begrudge him a move (unless he signed for WBA) due to his loyalty during the dreadful drop into the third tier. Sako would be almost irreplaceable for any side at Championship level due to the goals, assists and match-winning-ability he provides, though, it is important Jackett and co. work on bringing in a replacement, sharpish. – Ross Watson (@rossowenwatson)
– Inevitably, the loss of The Great One will be a big one for Wolves to overcome, particularly as we don’t seem to be looking to replace him like-for-like replacement for him. Nevertheless, we were by no means a one-man team last season and played well when he was on international duty in January. With Dicko, Afobe and (hopefully) Le Fondre leading our front line this year and McDonald providing quality service, our attacking prowess should continue without his blistering runs. – Liam Harris (@fakeliamharris)
– Any team will miss a player who scored 16 goals in a season, and consistently scored well over 3 seasons. He was a big hit with the fans for obvious reasons and will be a miss. Sako was capable of having games at either end of the scale, and you wouldn’t know which one you were getting until the day. Against Ipswich at the end of last season where we needed a win and a bit of spark he vanished when we needed him most. Defensively he was a liability, he conceded a few penalties on the rare occasions he tracked back! If we could add Sako to the current squad, we’d all be looking forward to a return to the top flight next year… – Phil Bradley (@wolvesbradders)
5) Wolves narrowly missed out on the Play-offs last season, where do you think you will be around Christmas time, and where do you realistically think you will finish once the campaign is over?
– I think by Christmas, Wolves will be around the play off places, around 5th-8th. I then feel we will be able to push on. If we can keep key players fit, I feel we will comfortably finish in the play off positions or maybe even push for automatic. We, by far, have one of the best squads in the league. – Harry Sanger (@harrysanger_)
– I’m optimistic. I would hope to be around the top four/five at Christmas and then it’s anyone’s. There’s some good sides around and Derby look especially strong on paper. I think we could finish in the top two. I’d be very disappointed not to be top six. – Stu Hale (@StuHale)
– I would be over the moon if we got Automatic promotion but I think top six is a very realistic aim! I think our final position will be similar to that of our Christmas position. A nice consistent season near the top of the table please! – Phil Weatherill (@PhilWeatherill)
6) And finally, there are plenty of teams set to be in the race for promotion this season, but who is in your Championship top 6 prediction? (Doesn’t have to be in ranked order).
– 1. Middlesborough, 2. Ipswich, 3. Fulham, 4. Wolves, 5. Burnley, 6. Leeds – Ross Watson (@rossowenwatson)
– I’ll go for: Derby, Boro, Wolves, Hull, Burnley, Brentford. – Phil Bradley (@wolvesbradders)
– In order: Derby, Wolves, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Ipswich, Birmingham (Surprise package, excellent manager) – Stu Hale (@StuHale)
– Wolves, Derby, Forest, Burnley, QPR, Middlesborough – Harry Sanger (@harrysanger_)
– In no particular order: Wolves, Derby, Hull, Bristol City, Burnley, Birmingham – Phil Weatherill (@PhilWeatherill)
– Middlesborough, 2. Derby, 3. Burnley, 4. Wolves, 5. Fulham, 6. Birmingham City – Liam Harris (@fakeliamharris)
So there we have it, Wolves fans are confident of finishing in the top six, and maybe a return to the Premier League could be on the cards. A massive thank you to the following supporters who provided their opinions, and fellow fans; be sure to keep upto date with them on Twitter:
Phil Weatherill – @PhilWeatherill
Stu Hale – @StuHale
Harry Sanger – @HarrySanger
Ross Watson – @rossowenwatson
Phil Bradley – @wolvesbradders
Liam Harris – @fakeliamharris