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Unofficial website - Wolves Mad
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|Last Season - Play-off winners||Position: 5th in First Division|
Wolves millionaire owner Sir Jack Hayward continued to pour bucket loads of cash into the team last season and, when they finished outside the automatic promotion places in Division One, failure in the play-offs was simply not acceptable. Manager Dave Jones had molded a side he was sure were capable of reaching the Premiership and they despatched with Reading on route to the play-off final against Sheffield United, who had reached the semi-finals of both the FA and League Cup, at the Millennium Stadium. Wolves blunted the Blades, comfortably beating them 3-0 to return to the top division for the first time in 19 years. Not a bad season then from the Black Country bunch, firmly banishing their capitulation in the 2001/02 season when they gifted promotion to West Brom.
|Transfers - In and Out|
Jody Craddock (Sunderland) - £1.75m
Henri Camara (Sedan) - £1.5m
Silas (Unaio Leiria) - £1m
Steffen Iversen (Wolves) - Free
Oleg Luzhny (Arsenal) - Free
Isaac Okoronkwo (Shakhtar D) - Free
Marlon Walters - Free
Jimmi Lee Jones - Free
Joey Gudjonsson (Betis) - Loan
Hassan Kachloul (Wolves) - Loan
Adam Proudlock (Sheff Wed) - Undisc.
Cederic Roussel (Genk) - Undisc.
Michael Branch (Bradford) - Free
Mohammed Camara (Burnley) - Free
Kenny Coleman (Kidderminster) - Free
Marc Edworthy (Norwich) - Free
Adam Willis (Kidderminster) - Free
Keith Andrews (Stoke) - Loan
Jimmi Lee Jones (Forest Green) - Loan
Ludovic Pollet - Released
|First Choice XI|
13-Matt Murray; 25-Isaac Okoronkwo, 12-Jody Craddock, 5-Joleon Lescott,
3-Lee Naylor; 14-Silas, 10-Colin Cameron, 8-Paul Ince, 11-Mark Kennedy; 16-Kenny Miller, 17-Henri Camara.
|The Gaffer - Dave Jones|
Dave Jones succeeded were many had failed when he guided Wolves into the Premiership in May 2003 and now he is charged with keeping the club in the top flight - something he has experience of as Southampton boss. The former defender's first big break in management came with Stockport County in 1995 and he enjoyed two very successful years at Edgeley Park, guiding the club to automatic promotion in 1997. The Scouser then took a crack at the Premiership with perennial strugglers Southampton and Jones managed to stave off relegation and begin to build a decent team before off-field affairs eventually led to him being replaced at The Dell. A court case cleared Jones of some very serious charges and he returned to football as manager of Wolves in 2001. Now he has returned to the Premiership.
|Player to Watch - Kenny Miller|
Kenny Miller's 19 league goals were central to Wolves successful promotion push last term - he also scored the third goal in the 3-0 play-off final win - and his strike rate is certain to be central to Wolves' chances of survival in the Premiership. He came to prominence following a £2million move to Rangers in the summer of 2000 and was heralded as the best young striker in Scotland. But Miller struggled to break into the side on a regular basis and he came to English football in September 2001 on a loan deal with Wanderers. After lengthy negotiations Wolves signed the 23-year-old on a permanent basis for £3million, on a contract to run until the summer of 2006. It's now time to fulfill his potential on the Premiership stage.
|Young Gun - Joleon Lescott|
Joleon Lescott burst into the Wolves first team in the 2000/01 season, making his debut in a 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday. The central defender soon settled into the side with a number of strong and assured displays at the heart of the Wolves defence, and was twice named the Young Player of the Year. The much coveted 20-year-old came through the club's youth system, graduating from the Centre of Excellence before earning a professional contract. He has represented England at Under-18 and Under-21 levels and was a rock as he helped Wolves into the Premiership for the 2003/04 season, by which time he had made 142 appearances for the club. He is now charged with the task of helping to keep the Midlands club in the top flight.
|From the terraces|
Finally - the promised land! Now we have finally reached the top flight, let's hope we will be around for some time yet.
Dave Jones' summer signings are certainly reason to be optimistic that our stay will be longer then one season, yet much will depend on the performances of Paul Ince - if he can stay fit and inspire his team-mates, then we have more than a fighting chance.
It is hard to make a prediction when it comes to Wolves, yet I would be surprised if we were to end up in the bottom three at the end of the season. Saying that, if I were offered fourth-bottom now, I would take it with both hands! Prediction - mid-table would be nice.
By Roger Barnes, from Fans FC.
The Premiership - at last. It really is uncharted territory for Wolves, though not for the want of trying. We think we belong here but now we have to prove it. And we've got a vastly different squad.
Isaac Okoronkwo, Silas and Henri Camara are exciting signings. if unproven in England. But Dave Jones has got us up, and I think he'll keep us in the Premiership.
By Robert Hitchin, from the Message Boards.
|Best - Mid-table safety||Worst - Relegation|
Veteran midfielder Paul Ince has suggested that Wolves must aim higher than just staying in the Premiership this season but surely everyone at the club would be happy to still boast Premiership status at the end of May 2004. With the addition of experienced Premiership players such as Oleg Luzhny, Steffen Iversen and Jody Craddock, Wolves have a good chance of staying up and if they begin to struggle they always have Sir Jack's millions to fall back on in January. Pre-season defeats to Coventry, Yeovil and a 6-1 hammering by the mighty Morecambe will have brought the size of the task sharply into focus.