Hobbs | ‘I can’t underplay how important Kingy is’

Matt Hobbs described Tom King as one of lynchpins of the Wolves dressing room, after the goalkeeper signed a new contract at Molineux.

King arrived in the summer and has formed a key figure within the Wolves group, driving a culture Gary O’Neil is creating at Compton Park and maintaining standards every day. The stopper has also strengthened the goalkeeper department, providing competition to Jose Sa and Dan Bentley, while helping the younger goalkeepers develop, knowing the standards which need to be hit on and off the pitch.

On King’s importance to the dressing room

“In my role working with Gary, we’re trying to create a culture, a togetherness within the training ground and the team, and hopefully the fans can see how connected the team and the staff are. The players are really connected to the fans too and part of creating that culture is generally the players not at the forefront of everything and nobody epitomises someone that drives a culture through his intensity in training every day, his work ethic and his personality more than Kingy.

“I can’t underplay how important Kingy is to what we’re doing here. That goes alongside his goalkeeping which is improving day in, day out. He has a lot of league football and international experience, and it makes three really competitive goalkeepers.”

On a strong goalkeeping department

“We’ve got three super competitive goalkeepers who are friends, but also competing day in, day out, driving each other on, and the other players trust Kingy. For what we’re creating, he’s really important to that. It also allows Lewys [Benjamin], who we’re trying to bring through at the moment, space to develop at his own rate, without having to rush to be a number three.”

On strong units across the pitch

“The goalkeepers complement each other well. When Tommy [Doyle] came in, I talked about units of the pitch, having different personalities and different skillsets to balance. Goalkeepers are no different, but with goalkeepers, a large part of the balance is personality. With wicket keepers in cricket, they can be their own men sometimes and we’re lucky to have three really good people and three really good goalkeepers who push each other on.”

On rewarding good work

“This is one of the happiest new contracts that I’ve given because his journey would have been tough, there’s no doubt. Coming through the system and playing a lot of games in League One and League Two, it’s tough.

“He can recognise the impact he’s had within the group, but it’s not purely because of that, he’s developing all the time as a goalkeeper and providing competition which is making the other two keep striving every day. I couldn’t be happier to give this new deal to him.”