Kenny Jackett believes the major transformation of the Wolves playing squad has helped recharge the Molineux batteries and freshen up the motivation levels of his revamped team.
Of the team which started the final game of last season against Brighton, only two players – Nouha Dicko, then on loan, and Bakary Sako – started Wolves’ last fixture, with the rest made up of Jackett signings or young players now given their first sustained run.
There is still much work to be done if Wolves are to achieve their aim of promotion, but to have changed the squad so dramatically, and be right in the thick of the race for the Championship, augurs well for the challenges ahead.
“I think as a coach or a manager, you’re judged on your signings,” said the Head Coach.
“That’s been consistent down the years – you do want to get them right.
“But it’s also important for them to integrate with the other players at the club, whether they be young guys coming through and there have been plenty of those showing daylight in terms of league appearances and also someone like Richard Stearman and Leigh Griffiths, who had both been out on loan last season, or Danny Batth, who hadn’t had much game-time.
“So the side has changed and the nature of it has too, but I would suggest it will continue to change because most clubs do - it evolves.
“A side can’t stand still and I think a big part of a successful team is hunger. And to keep that hunger you need fresh, new players.
“If you’re at a big club like this, one of the advantages is you should have like for like just outside of the team to create the competition that’s healthy for success.
“We’d always like to improve but you constantly look to try to get competition and make sure people are freshly motivated.
“And also for the people on the fringes and out of the side it’s important for them to know exactly what’s required of them should they step in
“You’re looking to try to bring new players in – every coach or manager would and want to put his own stamp on it slightly.
“And particularly here, because Wolves had had quite a period of success before the recent troubles, so perhaps there were a number of people who had been here too long, which I’ve said before. It was right for those individuals to move on, which does happen.”
Jackett believes the turnaround in personnel was needed after successive relegations, and also quickly to arrest what had been a fall from grace since the club was in the Premier League.
It is with those changes that Wolves have managed to be competitive at the top of the table so far this season.
“There’s been a big turnaround but I’ve seen these big clubs hang around this division for two or three years,” he added.
“The problems behind that are usually internal – they’re waiting for contracts to run out.
“The people who come in have a higher motivation level and who maybe haven’t got a big name and they want to make their name and because of the platform they’re given by a big club, and the club comes good again.
“We’ve wanted to, and needed to, accelerate that process to be competitive straight away.”