Stearman thanks for 'incredible' reception
Richard Stearman says that the reception he was given by the Wolves fans on his return to the club on Saturday was one of the best moments of his career.
Following his return on a season-long loan deal from Fulham, Stearman was included in Walter Zenga's starting line-up for Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Burton, and was given an early indication of just how popular his return is among the Molineux faithful.
Speaking about the deafening ovation he received as he ran towards the South Bank before the game, Stearman said: "It was incredible; probably one of my best moments on a football pitch.
"I had a great affinity with these fans when I was here previously, so it's great to rekindle that again, and hopefully I can reward them with the type of performances I've given previously.
“The fans know that I will give blood, sweat and tears for this club and the badge, and I'm hoping to continue where I left off.
"I maybe didn't expect the reception to be quite as good as it was, but it was very welcome and gave me great confidence ahead of the game; knowing that the fans were fully behind me.
“ Hopefully I can now reward their faith in me with some good performances."
Stearman's second 'debut' for his hometown club saw him again link-up with Danny Batth, alongside whom he had formed a solid partnership prior to his departure to Fulham.
On that combination in the centre of defence, he added: "I think I've played my best football with Danny alongside me and Carl (Ikeme) behind me, so to have them here bodes well for me, and hopefully we can pick up where we left off."
Ahead of the central defensive duo though, there are plenty of new faces in Zenga's squad, and Stearman believes that, at 29 and with eight previous years at Molineux behind him, he can be an experienced, calming influence on Wolves' new recruits.
"I'm that sort of older head that's maybe required on and off the pitch, and that's certainly a job that I thrive on - helping the younger lads and being almost a second captain behind Danny,” he adds.
“I had young Cameron (Borthwick-Jackson) next to me today, and I've really enjoyed guiding him through the game there - I think his man-of-the-match award was fully deserved.
"There are a lot of new faces but I think our system worked well on Saturday.
“It's obviously a work in progress – there are a lot of new players and new staff, but it's exciting times and you can see what we're trying to do, what we're trying to achieve and how we're trying to play.
“Give it a few more games and it will come to fruition."
It was incredible; probably one of my best moments on a football pitch