Wolves a different club now, says Cole

Premier League legend, Andrew Cole expects Wolves to consolidate themselves in the Premier League, which represents real progression on the club he used to face.

The former Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers striker, who is the division’s third highest scorer, faced against Wolves during his playing days, but a club battling to survive in the top division.

On Sunday Cole watched Wolves beat Bristol City in the FA Cup for BT Sport and shared his thoughts on the progression of the club and how impressed he’s been with the adaption to their new surroundings.

Andrew, how much have Wolves progressed since the club you played against during your career? 

“I played against ‘Incey’ when he was at Wolves and Dennis Irwin. That’s how much it’s changed because then Wolves were a yo-yo club, they’d get themselves in the Premier League and get relegated again – just trying to survive.

“Now, it’s all changed because the owners have put a lot of money into the football club and they’ll have a go again in the summer, and try to improve on where they finish this season.”

As a striker, how exciting would it be to play in this Wolves team?

“As a centre forward in this Wolves team, you’re going to get chances. I’m very attack-minded, so I like Jimenez, Jota and Costa. They are very creative.

“I watched the first Shrewsbury game and I liked the way they came back, a lot of teams could have been dead and buried at 2-0, but they came back and dealt with it well to get a draw and won the second game. The positives are there, the mind-set is right.

“For me personally, to watch any team come for the Championship to Premier League, it’s all about adapting and the way Wolves have adapted has been quality.”

What is key to adapting quickly to the Premier League?

“If you come up to the Premier League you don’t want to change the way you play and Wolves haven’t. The manager is going to stick to his guns, he’s said he won’t change against anybody, whether it’s Manchester United in the Premier League or Bristol City in the FA Cup.

“It’s surprising when any team adapts so well in the first season. The players that the manager and football club have brought in are Premier League standard players, they’re all quality players. I like the manager, I like the way he is and has his team playing attractive football.

“To come up to the Premier League in your first season and do so well is really impressive. No team has outclassed them this season.”

After you saw Wolves beat Bristol City, what do you make of their FA Cup chances?

“The FA Cup is so open now. One of the less fashionable clubs have a great chance to getting to the final. It’s very open and Wolves have a great opportunity of getting to the FA Cup final.

“Nuno has got to be saying: ‘Boys, we’ve got an unbelievable opportunity of getting to Wembley, so let’s get our minds on it.’”

Finally, what do you predict are Wolves’ long-term ambitions?

“I was listening to the owners the other day speaking about the stadium and what they’re looking to do. They’re looking to be in the Premier League for the long-haul, there’s no short fix to this.

“It’s a long progression and they want to stay in the Premier League for many years, but not just stay, they want to progress by getting into Europe and winning competitions.”