When you’ve just achieved promotion from League One, your season objectives may find themselves a little skewed after a couple of months.
Usually, a newly promoted side will aim to stay up or consolidate their status in their new division. That’s certainly the case when you make the jump from the Championship to the Premier League.
Moving from League One to the Championship, however, makes for a much smaller gap in class – and the momentum you still have from promotion often spills over into the new campaign. That’s how both Norwich City and Southampton ended up in the Premier League and that might just be how Wolverhampton Wanderers end up in next season’s top flight.
That outcome is a mere possibility at this stage, of course, with Wolves being taught a footballing lesson during their most recent league clash at Derby County. Steve McClaren’s side didn’t give the visitors a slither of hope as they beat them 5-0 at Pride Park. But Wolves boss Kenny Jackett is refusing to be too downbeat – and why should he be?
“I don’t want to be over-critical of ourselves but we’ve come up against two good sides and we have to learn from them,” Jackett is quoted as saying recently by the Express and Star.
“It’s an ability to be able to learn from them. But, most importantly, it’s about looking internally and making an assessment and then moving off that.”
Every promotion contender will have an off day. And every promotion contender will bounce back just days, weeks or months later.
Watford, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth, Derby themselves and more have all been top this season only to suffer consequent knocks at various stages in the campaign. The same applies for Wolverhampton Wanderers and shouldn’t detract from what a stellar job Jackett has done so far at Molineaux.
Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko have been brilliant up front, while Kevin McDonald and Lee Evans have starred in midfield. The boss himself, meanwhile, has got some things wrong but most right. Wolves are now down in ninth with a goal difference of 0. But, at the same time, they are only five points off top – having only just re-entered England’s second tier.
By all accounts, it’s been a good season so far. And the fact that it hasn’t been perfect for Jackett and his squad will only make them work harder in the coming weeks and months.
Manager Grading: B+