Competition Breeds Success

Zenga's confidence in squad's ability

Walter Zenga is confident that the battle for places will drive the Wolves players forwards as his new-look squad welcome Burton Albion to Molineux tomorrow (3pm).

A further four new signings are available to what Zenga had at his disposal at Huddersfield a fortnight ago, making it 12 new senior arrivals in total this summer, and a squad which should now be able to cope with the loss of the emergency loan window.

It leaves the Head Coach with some tough and testing decisions on selection, but that is just the way he likes it!

“This is my job and I have to make some decisions,” he says.

“Now in my opinion we have a squad where we could play with one team on Saturday and another team on Tuesday.

“And everybody would be fresh.

“It is the life of a coach that you make a lot of changes and win the game it is the right call.

“If you make changes and don’t win the game, it is ‘why didn’t you play with the same eleven!’

“It is important that the players understand that there are a lot of games and everybody is going to be involved.

“I like this kind of choice and the responsibility.

“I was a keeper as a player, and now I am a coach, and in my opinion those are the difficult positions.

“Because all the time the keeper and the coach are guilty!

“I love my job and making decisions.

“I love talking to people and listening to opinions and then it is up to me to make the decision.”

There are no new injury worries for Zenga bar those already sidelined, and he admits the two week break for internationals has offered the chance to recharge the batteries after such a hectic early-season schedule.

“Everybody is o-k,” he said of the players’ fitness.

“We have to think about some issues with players who have travelled and played internationals but I am satisfied with where we are.

“We have to use the break for taking care of the players that have a couple of small problems and do the fitness and conditioning in the right way.

“Then we restart before the game in the same way we did in August.

“We use the break to regenerate everybody.

“And now we would like to continue in the same style and the same way we did before the break.”

Wolves will welcome a Burton Albion side who have made an encouraging start to their first ever season in the Sky Bet Championship.

And a manager for whom Wolves’ Head Coach has the utmost respect, both for his own coaching expertise and for the legacy he is continuing.

“For me it is going to be a big honour to shake the hand of Mr Clough,” said Zenga.

“His father was my idol and I know all about him.

“And I very much respect Nigel as well.

“He has had a fantastic career as a coach and has spent some time in the Championship.

“He is a smart coach, and I think it will be a good game.

“In the last game against Derby they showed very nice football.

“The experience of the coach in this league is very important,

“We have to be smart and clever and show our technical quality.

“We can’t change our style because of who we play against – we have to try every game to play our football.”

Zenga’s knowledge of Clough senior is evidence of his desire to learn about as many top managers as possible, in order to help hone his own approach and philosophies.

“When Nottingham Forest won the European Cup I was 19 years old,” he recalls.

“And then I have read a lot of books about Brian Clough and his history.

“What he did not just in Nottingham but in Derby, Hartlepool and I have read and seen The Damned United too!

“I think Brian Clough was the best manager England ever had.

“But the problem was that he never became coach of the national team.

“I find that strange, because his career was amazing.

“Him and Peter Taylor did an unbelievable job everywhere they went.

“I read books about everyone I can.

“I have received a book from a friend in Italy on Mourinho, I have read about Ferguson, Clough.

“I think it is important to read the stories about the big managers and how they did their jobs and developed their clubs.

“In my opinion,  having one dinner with a top manager is the best lesson you can have since being at school.

“You can share your experiences,  not about systems and style of the team, but about coaches and their philosophies, and you can always learn.”

In my opinion we have a squad where we could play with one team on Saturday and another team on Tuesday
Walter Zenga