Dendoncker | On dawn of a new era, full stadiums and expectations

Leander Dendoncker insists Wolves are doing everything they can to ‘write history again’ as the club begins a new era under head coach Bruno Lage.

Wolves travel to the King Power Stadium to face last season’s FA Cup winners Leicester City, and Belgian midfielder Dendoncker knows the players need to be as prepared as they can be, despite a shortened pre-season under a new boss for many of the players due to their international commitments earlier in the summer, for what appears to be a difficult opening trio of fixtures.

On a new era beginning under Lage

“Everything is new, and you always need time to build up to everything, not only for the players, but also for the staff.

“They have to get to know the players, we have to get to know the staff, so we might need some time to get used to it, but there isn’t much time left now. It’s up to us to try and work hard every day to be ready for Leicester.

“It does feel like a new era. The last four years has been a great journey for this club and for all the people within this club.

“When you look that we were still playing in the Championship not even four years ago, and in the meantime, we’ve played in a Europa League quarter-final, I think that’s a massive achievement for this club.

“But now there’s a new manager, it’s a new start for everyone and it’s up to us to create a new journey so we can write history again with this club. We will try and do everything we can to achieve that.”

On expectations for the season

“When I speak to friends who play in the Premier League, they always say it’s tough to come and play here at the Molineux and play against Wolves, in general.

“We’re always really well organised and we’re just a good team. It’s not a secret anymore. Last season was a bit unfortunate for us, with injuries, other things and Covid, of course, but that was not easy for everyone so that was no excuse.

“I think the first two seasons in the Premier League were amazing and people know, and have seen, that we can be a really good team, so it’s up to us to try and find that new level again under a new manager.

“But we’re going to have to be focused right from the start because the first three games are really tough for us, so we’ve got to be ready for that.”

On being a senior member of the squad

“I’m still only 26-year-old, but I’m starting to feel old now within this team! But I’m not old yet, I still want to hopefully play another 10 years.

“But in this team, I’m one of the more experienced players, and it’s up to me to try and help the younger players and try to be a good example.

“I’m more experienced now, so I know what to do and what not to do when I’m on holidays, so I’ve still been working in order to be ready for the start of this new season.”

On having fans back in stadiums

“It’s massive for us. I think that may be one of the reasons why we performed less good than the first two seasons. In those seasons, I think every home game was very hard for the away team which came to play here, mainly because of the fans.

“They play a massive role in the success that we’ve had. I’m happy and I hope that the stadium will be full as soon as possible.

“The more support there is and the more support you feel, the more energy it gives to you to go and fight for every ball, so that’s a good thing for us and we all want to play an entire season with fans again.”