Former Premier League defender Danny Higginbotham believes Wolves are going in ‘one direction only’ as he sings the praises of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side so far this season.
Sitting seventh in the Premier League and with a first FA Cup semi-final since 1998 on the horizon, Wolves have surprised many this season, but the ex-Manchester United man said he knew the team would do well in the top-flight, especially following the ‘class’ player recruitment which was carried out during the summer.
Danny, how well do you think Wolves have taken to their first season back in the Premier League?
“They’ve been excellent. I covered them a lot last season in the Championship and one of the things I said at the time they got promoted was that even if they didn’t add to their squad, I’d thought they’d be comfortable in staying up.
“I think great credit has to go to the manager and the players for the way that they’ve taken to the Premier League because, where they find themselves among the teams around them this season, they’ve been brilliant.”
What changes have you seen between the Wolves which played in the Championship last season to the one that is challenging at the top end of the Premier League table this campaign?
“What we saw earlier in the season was very much the 3-4-3 system, which worked so well in the Championship, but as times gone on they’ve modified into a 3-5-2. In the early stages of the season I felt they were one of the best teams in the Premier League in terms of controlling possession.
“Teams capitalised on that by putting more bodies in the midfield when they came up against Wolves, but Nuno put an extra man in the Wolves midfield which has given more time and space for the likes of Moutinho and Neves to try to identify the areas which may be free.
“It’s only a small tweak that’s been made, but I think it’s benefited the team, and helped them go from strength to strength.”
How much of an impact do you think the signings Nuno made during the summer have had on the team which came up last season?
“It’s class players who’ve come in and I think that’s the key thing to Wolves’ recruitment this year. If you’re going to bring players in, especially when you get promoted to the Premier League, you want them to be better than the players you already have in that position.
“The likes of Patricio, Moutinho and Jimenez; their reputation and experience speaks for itself and they’ve been big parts to this team, it’s no surprise that Moutinho’s had the most assists for Wolves because he’s fantastic.
“Him and Neves, Dendoncker now as well, they really suit each other and with Jimenez as the top scorer and Patricio in goal, it gives you that bit of confidence at the back. Patricio has that standing and presence about him which has helped the defence in front of him.”
Have you been impressed with how Wolves have grown off the pitch as well as their performances on it?
“Everything about the club is impressive right now. The owners will obviously be looking for that seventh position, because the top six positions are always taken care of.
“But I feel that the way Wolves are going now, if they keep going about it the right way, doing the business that they’re doing, then there’s no reason that they can’t start challenging or get close to challenging those top six positions.
“Wolves are a good club who are going in one direction and one direction only, and that’s great credit to everybody involved at the football club, both the football people and the people behind the scenes because it’s been an outstanding season so far and I don’t see it stopping.”