The start of the season is finally upon us, how has the summer been for Wolves?
Traumatic, as it so often is for teams coming down from the Premier League. Our best players unsurprisingly want out. Michael Kightly has already left for Stoke, whilst both Matt Jarvis and Steven Fletcher have made their intentions known. The club are paying hardball over the fees for both though and as I write this, it’s very frustrating because it appears we won’t be spending until their future’s have been resolved. The grain of comfort is that new manager Ståle Solbakken seems like a solid appointment, speaking a lot of sense. However, words are cheap so it remains to be seen how he gets on.
What are your expectations for this season?
I would hope that by the end of August we’ve settled all the ins and outs. From that point onwards, I’m expecting us to operate in the top half of the table. Really, I’d like to see us make the top 6 as a minimum, but it’s anyone’s guess whether this is realistic or not. The Championship is always a lottery.
Who should we be looking out for in your side on Saturday?
Well, the new narrow 442 formation we’ve been using relies heavily on the full-backs getting forward, so expect both Ward and Zubar to spend plenty of time galloping down the flanks. Ebanks-Blake has won the golden boot in both of his previous two seasons in this league so we’re hoping for a repeat performance from him. He looked sharp around the box last weekend. Kevin Doyle is another proven player at this level and we’re hoping for a good return from him too.
If you could sign one current Leeds player for Wolves, who would it be?
Ross McCormack is a player I’ve always liked the look of and he certainly knows what the Championship is all about. To be honest though, there have been so many ins and outs at Leeds, I’m struggling to keep track of who actually plays for you these days. David Norris is there now I believe. He’s another useful Championship performer and seems to get goals wherever he goes. We’re short of good attacking players from midfield.
The Championship 2012/13 – 3 teams to go up, 3 to go down?
Complete guess but Wolves (obviously), Leicester and Bolton to go up. Barnsley, Palace and Huddersfield to go down.
Leeds have a wonderful chance to do something this season, purely because of the man in the dugout. I’ve always respected Warnock. In fact, I quite fancied seeing him down the Wolves last season when we sacked McCarthy. I don’t think he could have done much worse than Terry Connor. I think he was interviewed, but all of a sudden he ended up at Leeds. You won’t go too far wrong with him knocking around.
Finally, what’s your prediction for the game?
1-1 is always a good bet with a fixture like this, so I’ll sit perched firmly on the fence.