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Ince: Coady could play for England

Former England midfielder, Paul Ince has backed Wolves skipper, Conor Coady to earn a full England call-up, should he maintain his impressive performances for the club.

Ince earned 53 England caps and enjoyed four seasons at Molineux during the latter stages of his career, so now has a keen interest on the club being back in the Premier League. Having seen Wolves play regularly, most recently for the BBC on Monday night, Ince expects Coady to receive further recognition in the future.

On Coady’s England chances

“It’s tough because most of the players who get recognition usually play for the top six teams in the Premier League, but Conor is still young and still learning. I saw him as a young kid at Liverpool.

“I thought he was excellent last year in the Championship and I was intrigued how he’d play at the back, but he’s playing like he’s played there all his life.

“He’s the captain, he’s vocal, he’s a leader and you think why not (get a call up)? If he keeps performing like this, then eventually someone has to look at him.”

On Coady as a kid

“He was two years younger than my son, Thomas but they’d train on the same nights at Liverpool and Conor would train with his brother. I’ve seen him come through the ranks and he’s a good kid.

“He’s gone down a different avenue, most people would have been happy to stay at Liverpool, but he didn’t because he wanted to play football elsewhere. Now he’s reinvented himself at Wolves and is playing very well in the Premier League.

“For someone so young to be leading the team shows what a great leader he is. The manager has a lot of faith in him, shown by giving him the armband, and the most important thing is if he keeps going.”

On Wolves in the Premier League

“It think it’s been very good. For a team which has come up from the Championship, I know they had a very good Championship side, but you’ve still got to pick the right personnel and recruit the right players, and you’ve got to perform under a different pressure.

“The expectation last year was to come up and the expectation this year was to stabilise themselves in the Premier League and they’ve done that very well. The record against the top six has been fantastic.”

On the Premier League changes

“The Premier League has changed, when you look at the financial side to it. You look at the pitches, the balls, everything is a lot faster. I don’t know if it’s better technically, it would be interested to see how our 2003 team would compare.

“The game has changed, the generation has changed, and I’m just pleased to see the gold and black boys back in the Premier League.”

On Wolves being back

“I love Wolves. I had some great times at Wolves, I love the fans. Coming to the club in the Championship and getting promoted in the first year, beating Sheffield United in the Play-Offs, was one of the greatest days of my football career.

“It’s a shame we didn’t stay there long enough, if we had the current owner we would have been alright.

“It’s great to see the fans back on side, I’ve seen times where the stadium was half empty and the fans were getting frustrated, but it’s great to see full houses playing against the best teams in England.”

On targets for the club

“I spoke to staff a couple of months ago and the priority was to finish in the top ten and I believe they’ll do that. There’s more to come, you can see the way they’re playing, the style under Nuno, that next year more players will come in because they want to improve.

“I can see this club going further and further. It’s always going to be hard to challenge the top six, we know that from a financial point of view, but there’s no reason why they can’t get into the Europa League in the next couple of years or win a trophy.”

On FA Cup chances

“They’re not getting relegated Wolves so go for it. Wembley is a great day out for the fans. I’ve been there three times and it’s a great trophy to win. A lot of the bigger teams aren’t going to play their strong teams, so there’s a chance of them going out, so Wolves should go for it.”

Other footballing stars and BBC pundits who have had their say on Wolves’ season so far include: