Wolves under-23s get their first season in Premier League 2 Division 1 underway this evening with a trip to Crawley to face Brighton & Hove Albion.
Rob Edwards’ side secured the Division 2 title last season with a final day come-from-behind victory over Manchester United, sealing their place in the top flight of development football for the first time.
But Wolves’ first opponents Brighton have got years of experience in the league, finishing third in Division 1 last season, following nine wins and eight draws from their 22 matches in the top flight.
The People’s Pension Stadium, Crawley
0-2 v Oxford United (A) Friendly
0-2 v Celtic XI (A) Friendly
1-0 v Swansea City (A) Friendly
1-2 v Chelsea (H)
0-1 v Everton (A)
2-2 v Swansea (H)
WHAT THE BOSS THINKS
On Oxford pre-season defeat
“In pre-season the result is not the be all and end all, but the performance is not what we wanted either. We wanted more from the players. We were the better team in the first-half, without taking our chances and then we didn’t control the game well enough in the second-half.
“We were not as smart as we’d like them to be and the two goals we conceded were from a couple of poor mistakes. If we didn’t score, the game should’ve been 0-0. We’ve moved on, addressed it and now we’ll move on to today and look forward to Brighton.”
On the challenge posed by the Seagulls
“It’s going to be a very tough test. It’s been difficult as we’ve not been able to see any of them from pre-season, and it’s been hard to find footage on them to base work off, although we’ve looked at them from last year.
“We can tell the players what we think they might be like, but as it was for every team we faced last season and for every team we’ll face this year, for us it’s more about getting ourselves right.
“We’re at a good level, all the teams are going to have good players, they’re going to be well organised and well coached, so it’s going to be a test just going into the unknown – a different league, a different team who’ve we’ve not played before, so it will be interesting to see how we cope.
“If we’re at it, stick to our principles and do what we do well, then we can get a positive result.”
On deadline day signings
“Cyriaque Mayounga came in on trial after playing for Lyon, he featured against Hereford but got injured in the Swansea game. But we saw enough in those games to sign him. He was free and available, so it was a no-brainer for us.
“He came in and showed good quality, good character – he’s the right type of person, he shows a good attitude, good physicality, a nice left foot, and is settling in fine. Now we have to get him fit and up to speed again.
“Meritan Shabani is someone we’re really excited to have in the building, we saw him for the first time yesterday to train with the group, and he’s been brilliant – a really nice guy, a very talented player, so we’re excited to have him in as well.”
18/8 Everton (H)
23/8 Blackburn Rovers (A)
30/8 Leicester City (H)
14/9 Manchester City (A)
20/9 Arsenal (H)
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