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OPPOSITION VIEW: WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

7 August 2014

Essential reading on this weekend's opponents

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

Nickname
: Wolves
Head Coach: Kenny Jackett
2013/14: 1st (League One)
Ground: Molineux
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 179 miles (3 hours 10 minutes)

THE LOWDOWN
Wolves have had a relatively quiet summer in the transfer market, which is justifiable given the dominance their squad demonstrated in romping to the League One title last season.

Tommy Rowe, a free transfer from Peterborough United, and Rajiv van La Parra (Heerenveen) are the only two new faces to arrive at Molineux this summer at the time of writing.

They won promotion to the Championship with a 2-0 victory over Crewe in April and eventually secured the title with room to spare, finishing well ahead of Brentford and ending with 103 points – a League One record.


One key to their success was successfully replacing star forward Leigh Griffiths, who transferred to Celtic at the end of January. Nouha Dicko was signed from Wigan Athletic earlier in the window and went on to net 13 goals in 19 appearances.

Other influential players set to make the step up are defender Danny Batth, who was ever-present in the league last year, Fans’ & Players’ Player of the Season Kevin McDonald and French danger man Bakary Sako.

Wolves’ one season in League One was the first time they had competed in the third tier of English football for 25 years. Their history is decorated with four top division titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups.

THE BOSS
Recently described in a BBC online profile as ‘the man who brought smiles back to Wolves’, Kenny Jackett called on all his experience to arrest the West Midlands’ club’s alarming slide last season and ensure their rise back up to the Championship at the first time of asking.

After successive relegations had left them in turmoil a year ago, Jackett, who had resigned as Millwall boss a month earlier, took the reins and with it the responsibility of restoring pride back into one of the most passionately-supported teams in the Football League.

He succeeded, and a year on his stock couldn’t be higher with his players as well as fans.


"He's a man-manager. He's very calm and knows what he wants. I trust him. What he says goes. If he told me to jump off a roof I'd do it. I've got that much belief in him,” said captain Sam Ricketts in a recent interview.

Jackett’s first managerial job came at Watford, the place where he spent his entire playing career, but it was with Swansea City that the Welshman enhanced his reputation between 2004 and 2007, earning promotion is his first full campaign.

A League One Play-Off triumph and an FA Cup Semi-Final were the highlights in five-and-a-half years at Millwall, but he stepped down citing the ‘need for a new challenge’ in 2013.

THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme, Aaron McCarey, Jonathan Flatt.

Defenders: Matt Doherty, Scott Golbourne, Richard Stearman, Danny Batth, Sam Ricketts (c), Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Kevin Foley.

Midfielders: David Edwards, James Henry, David Davis, Bakary Sako, Kevin McDonald, Lee Evans, Tommy Rowe, Rajiv van La Parra, Jack Price, Michael Jacobs.

Forwards: Leon Clarke, Liam McAlinden, Nouha Dicko.

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