Gaffer's thoughts ahead of Barnsley
Walter Zenga will forgive his team anything provide they continue to play with the heart, courage and passion which he believes every fan deserves.
It has been a lively start to the Head Coach’s Molineux tenure, not least as he only had five days to prepare for the season and has then been faced with the task of integrating 12 senior new faces into the squad.
But Wolves have managed to show plenty of promise to take nine points from the first six games – losing only once – as they welcome Barnsley to Molineux this evening (7.45pm).
“The most important thing in my view is to create enthusiasm inside the club, with the fans,” says the Head Coach.
“We all have a team that we love. Me, as a fan, when I watch my team play, Inter Milan, I want to see the players running and fighting for 90 minutes. And try everything to do their best.
“In this case I can accept everything.
“But if I see the team not playing with heart, courage and passion, I don’t like it.
“I try to transmit this to my players. And to the fans.
“We have a very young squad.
“Helder, Cavaleiro, Teixeira, or even Price and Coady for example, they’re not old.
“We try to introduce someone (Stearman) with experience, with a strong mentality who can help everybody to stay concentrated.”
Despite such a major upheaval in the squad which must surely make it difficult to expect instant results, Zenga is not looking for any excuses.
And he says everyone will have a part to play.
“We’ve changed many players in August and many players now,” he explains.
“For us, August was like July in pre-season.
“Now we have to introduce the new players.
“We know it’s difficult but not impossible - we have to work without looking for excuses.
“We arrive on August 1 and after five days the season started.
“Other clubs and coaches have had the time to prepare looking at what they have to do.
“The job we did in August that should be done in June or July, and at the same time the season starts, do you understand how difficult it is for us?
“But thanks to the players and the club we’re working in the right way and now with this new squad we have another month with seven games to introduce the new players.
“We want a big squad, because seven games in 20 days, a long season, from now to January there are 27 games. It’s important to have a big squad.
“In my opinion also the players have signed the contract to be inside the squad, it’s not in their contract that they have to play 100 per cent of the games.
“The competition between the players gives the training more quality, more intensity.
“Then I’m a coach and have to choose the starting XI.
“I’m going to look inside, understand very well the particular character and quality of a player.”
Tonight then it’s time for Wolves to welcome third-placed Barnsley, in a bid to go one better than Saturday.
“What we did in 90 minutes against Burton was in my opinion the right way to get three points,” says Zenga.
“We analysed the small details of the last goal but what is done is done - we turn the page and look ahead.
“Barnsley have made a good start, they’re in a good moment.
“They are a good team and are playing very well.
“They have a couple of players who could play in the Premier League, but we prepare our game for ourselves with a mind to play nice football.
“We respect the opponent all the time but we also have to be looking to play our football and be ready to play in front of our fans.”
The competition between the players gives the training more quality, more intensity