Season Preview: Wolves

Last updated : 17 August 2005 By Simon Rickards
How did you fare last season?
Poorly by our standards. Following our relegation from the Premier League we were all hoping for an immediate return - alas it was not to be. The introduction of Glenn Hoddle as manager helped us turn a corner however. The last third of the season was much improved.

How do you expect you'll do this season?
I believe we'll do very well. I see no reason why we would not finish in the top six and there is enough talent in the club to possibly take us up automatically.

What have you done on the transfer market this summer? Which of your new signings are you expecting most from?
So far there has not been an enourmous amount of activity. We have bought in Jackie McNamara, Rohan Ricketts and Gabor Gyepes. Jackie was a stalwart of Celtic and his pedigree speaks for itself. Rohan is a classy young player with a great talent - he should be significant! Gabor has only just joined on loan til January so we will see...

Where do you think you'll need to strengthen in the January transfer window?
Difficult to say really. I still believe we need a consistent striker and I would hope that we still have enough time before the end of August to do this.

Have you any promising youngsters breaking into the team?
Yes! Chris Cornes and the England Under-16 captain, Mark Davies... watch out for these boys - they are going to be special!

Have you got the right man in charge of the team? Will he still be there at the end of the season?
Glenn Hoddle is probably one of the best managers outside the Premiership. I truly believe the controversial side of his character is far enough in the background for him to again shine as a quality manager. His skills and knowledge of the game are unquestioned and yes, I truly believe he'll be the man to steer us back up.

Is the club being run well? Are you likely to be singing 'Sack the board' any time soon?
There were times last season when this was the case, a lot of criticism especially aimed at chief executive Jez Moxey. However, the long term plans that the club has are coming very much into the limelight and Jez and the board are doing an A1 job.

Which team do you most want to beat and why?
Stoke City - purely a Midland rivalry thing!

Who do you think's going up?
So many teams... but I think the final mix will include Wolves, Southampton, Norwich, Leicester, Crystal Palace - the usual suspects really!

Who do you think's going down?
Very hard to say at this stage. I think Hull and Luton will do very well to stay up.

How do you reckon Hull City will fare in the Championship?
I think that although not expected to mount any major challenges for top 6 places that Hull will ultimately survive. You have a good manager and some good players - I think somewhere around 16th will see you having a successful season.

Simon Rickards is editor of Wolves Mad.