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CITY v WOLVES: OPPOSITION INSIGHT

12 February 2015

Wolves correspondent predicting 2-2 draw this weekend

We spoke to Tim Nash, Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star, to get the inside track on Saturday's visitors to Carrow Road.

Hi Tim, thanks for speaking to us. Wolves are sitting just outside the play-off places well into the second half of the season. That must constitute success in their first season back at this level?

Yes, but it depends where your viewpoint is! Head Coach Kenny Jackett is the first Wolves manager in a long while to have higher expectations than a lot of the fans.

Many supporters think the team needs to consolidate; Jackett stated back in May that the aim was a second successive promotion - just like Norwich did a few years ago.
 
Have the expectations at Molineux, from both inside the club and from the fans, increased as this campaign has unfolded?


I'm not sure. Certainly the team has evolved as the season has gone on in order to meet the demands of the Championship.

They had to change slightly as their possession-based, building-from-the-back philosophy which was seeing them getting caught out too near to their own goal, so Jackett has got them playing their football a bit higher up the pitch now.

You can forget just what a demanding, athletic division it is when you're out of it for a season or two, and I think they have adjusted to that now.

 
Is promotion a realistic ambition?


For the club yes, for this current team maybe not.

I think all the fans and the Head Coach firmly believe a club of Wolves' size, history and fanbase should be in the Premier League. But this is still a fairly young and emerging team with some players new to the Championship and its gruelling demands.

And for many, another season at this level might not be such a bad thing.
 
Kenny Jackett took over in the summer of 2013. How would assess the job the former Millwall boss has done?

Kenny has done tremendous job in his 20 months in charge, achieving so much.

From weeding out the toxic element in the dressing room to building a new style of play with a real emphasis on homegrown players combined with value-for-money signings, he has rebuilt Wolves.

The League One title last season came with six club records and he is already establishing the club at this level again with promise of even better times ahead.

His exclusion of his first signing, club captain Sam Ricketts, shows he won't have favourites.

Which players have been the standout performers this season? Who should the Canaries be wary of at the weekend?

Bakary Sako, whose contract is up in the summer, is an obvious stand-out performer. Wolves resisted attempts to sell him in January, turning down three offers, including one of £2m-plus from arch rivals Albion.


Unpredictable but explosive, he possesses a rocket in his left foot and is a threat with his shooting, set-pieces and crossing from wide left.

Unfortunately Carl Ikeme, who is probably the best keeper in the Championship, is out injured, but watch out for the pace of Nouha Dicko and new £2m signing Benik Afobe, who scored two and one respectively in Tuesday's 4-1 win at Huddersfield in their first start together.
 
Finally, how do you think Saturday's game will go? We must get a score prediction off you too!

It's an intriguing one as both sides have had decent results of late and are battling to get into the top six. Norwich score plenty of goals and Wolves have generally been tight at the back. I can see goals though so I'm going for a 2-2 draw.

NEXT AT CARROW ROAD
Wolves, Saturday February 14, 3pm

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