Midfielder reflects on start to season
Jack Price believes the team ethic inspired by Head Coach Walter Zenga will help the new-look Wolves squad adapt and succeed as they prepare for the next stage of the Sky Bet Championship season.
After seven games in three weeks, Wolves will have had a fortnight’s ‘break’ with the international programme, before returning for another similarly hectic spell starting at home to Burton Albion on Saturday (3pm).
Twelve new additions have been made to the senior squad during the summer transfer window, but Price believes the strength in depth will be vital over a long and testing Championship season.
“The gaffer has said from the start he likes to rotate the squad especially with so many games,” says Price.
“I think all the lads understand that and will just do what they can when they get an opportunity.
“It is up to all of us to adapt.
“Everyone probably wants to play 46 games, that is what footballers want.
“But the gaffer has said it is better to play at 100 per cent for 23 games rather than 50 per cent for 46.
“Everyone knows they can stay as fresh as possible and make a contribution.
“And everything the gaffer does is about the team.
“He always says that there is no ‘I’ in team and it is about ‘we’ not ‘you’.
“It is about getting that foundation and team spirit in place and so far it has been working well.
“If we can keep that going we can have a really good season.”
On the big summer changes, Price believes both new and ‘old’ players will be able to learn from each other as the season beds in.
“There have been a lot of changes with the gaffer coming in and the new signings,” he said.
“The new lads seem to have settled in well and the lads already here have adapted well to the gaffer in terms of attitude and concentration.
“New players have come in who have played in different leagues in different countries.
“They will have bits to their games and different experiences and lifestyles that we can learn from.
“And then hopefully they can also learn from the English-based players here about the Championship and what is involved – it is a good two-way process.
“For example the game we had at Huddersfield was completely different to the cup game against Cambridge a few days earlier.
“We can all learn from each other and that will be to the benefit of the team.”
Price also says the squad have plenty to learn from Walter Zenga, and says the Head Coach’s passion has added zest to the players.
“It’s always good to have a gaffer that shows some passion and has his heart on his sleeve,” he explained.
“After the Birmingham game he said he had been thinking about doing a Mourinho run and slide on his knees after our third goal!
“You can see how much he cares. He has not come in just to do a job, he cares about the club.
“You could see all that with the passion after that game and it’s from all the staff – Rob, Stefano, Andrea – there is a lot of enthusiasm there and the lads can feed off that.
“There is a buzz about the place at the moment.”
The home double-header against Burton and then Barnsley on Tuesday gives Wolves a chance not only to try and respond to the defeat at Huddersfield a fortnight ago but also continue an impressive recent run on home soil.
Wolves are unbeaten at Molineux in 11 games taking in the start of this season and the end of last.
“We were unbeaten up until the Huddersfield game and it was disappointing that run came to an end,” said Price.
“We didn’t have a great start in that match but we got into the game towards the end of the first half and had so many chances to equalise in the second.
“As the gaffer has said, we win some and will lose some and have to learn from that and we just have to concentrate on getting back to a positive performance against Burton on Saturday.
“We’ve had eight points from the first five games so which is a reasonable start.
“That was in the first batch of games when there were a lot of changes so we now need to get at least that much again in these next group of games.
“We’re on a decent run at home and need to get as many points as we can from these next two games.
“It is always tough but we have to aim for six points to try and keep us up there and climbing the table.
“That would put us in a great position in the table and mentally would help with how we are feeling as well.
“We have to play as we know we can and with the ability we have in the squad, if we do that we have a chance in any game.”