Michael Jacobs didn’t take much persuading when the chance to join Wolves came along in November, even though it meant dropping down a division.
The 22-year-old came through the youth ranks at Northampton Town, breaking into The Cobblers’ first team before moving to Derby County. After 15 months at Pride Park came the switch to Molineux.
And after an initial loan deal, the wide sided midfielder was more than happy to put his name to a two and a half year contract in the January transfer window.
He recalled: “I knew when I joined there would be a good chance that the club would get back into the Championship. Getting back there was what everyone at the club wanted – the players, the staff and of course the supporters so, for me, it was a good opportunity to be involved in a promotion chase.
“The lads have made me feel really welcome and it’s certainly a good place to play. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and long may it continue.
“The gaffer brought me in when I was out in the cold at Derby and he has given me the opportunity to be involved ever since I’ve been here and so I can’t ask for more than that.”
Of the superb run that yielded 51 from a possible 60 points since New Year, he admitted that Wolves were the team that everyone was targeting, adding: “I don’t think that we have let our standards slip and we have ground out results by playing some good stuff.
“It was a bit of a tough game at Coventry last weekend. The pitch didn’t really suit our style of play and we had to graft out a point in the end.
“It’s a good showcase for teams and individual players to do well and be noticed when they play against us. But then Molineux has always been a big place to come to. Even last season when I came here with Derby it was a big occasion; there’s no doubt that teams do raise their game.
“As I say, I’ve really enjoyed myself and I feel that I’ve achieved the most consistent run of my career so far. I think that being among the boys here, and under the head coach, I have definitely improved as a player. Having a good run of games has helped me greatly because it’s given me stability and consistency.
“The gaffer gives me a license to roam about and get involved in the game. Sometimes my decision making about staying wide could be better and I like to get the ball off the midfielders and turn and drive at defences. Allowing me to do that has benefitted me more than at any time in my career.”
Michael also had words of praise for fellow midfielder Kevin McDonald – another of this season’s astute signings by the Molineux hierarchy. He said: “Kev has been different class and I think he has been the best player in League One. I’m surprised he hasn’t won awards earlier in the season when you look at how he plays and the way he receives the ball.
“His performances have been consistent week in, week out and nobody can fault his effort. He should be proud of himself and he fully deserved his place in the Division’s team of the year.”
Whilst enjoying the euphoria surrounding winning the Championship, Michael already has half an eye on the campaign that begins in August.
“I think we can really kick on. There are a lot of strong teams in the Championship – there won’t be a week where you can think that you are going to get an easy three points.
“It’s one of the most competitive Leagues around and it will be a tough season but I think that we have enough to put a good challenge in.”