Bolton Wanderers 0 Wolves 4

Old gold, soaked in sunshine, securing the trophy that Stan Cullis made his own – at the home of an old nemesis.


In much the same manner as the preceding 43 games, the script couldn’t have been written any better, with the ghosts of Burnden past and Reebok present fully exorcised once and for all, and that glorious swagger back in our stride.

Thank you Nuno and thank you to all you wonderful Wolves players for continuing to create memories like these, when we were thinking that you’d exhausted them all over the course of this never ending campaign.

This 4-0 drubbing might have lacked the furore and bitten fingernails of our ‘Boro, Bristol and Cardiff conquests, but for those fans too long in the tooth to forget the heartache of 1995, this victory will conjure the exact same blissful, fuzzy feeling when we wake in the morning – joyous in the knowledge that this hasn’t been a dream.

This was Nuno at his finest. Our adopted son and first bona-fide cult hero since Bully. Born 1,500 miles from Wolverhampton, but bearing the very DNA of our club on his shoulders like he’s been here all his life.

His three-at-the-back formation has been too tough a nut to crack for a perplexed league all season, but when you mingle his system with genuine soul, then you’ve got an otherworldly leader of men, who’ve recorded some ethereal performances as a result.

Did he know that we’d never won against a Mick McCarthy side since the old mule left? Or that we blew up back in 2002 in a similar position to where we’ve been? That we’d not won in Middlesbrough since the 1950s? Or how about never triumphing at the Reebok Stadium in a league fixture before now? Wearing the fabric of our very existence like a cloak across his back, how can anyone believe he didn’t?

Whether or not we now reach 100 points is secondary, thanks to Nuno cracking more millstones around our necks than opponents’ hearts. These are memories to last longer than a screengrab of a league table. These are the days my friends, consigning those miserable nights of the past to absolute irrelevance.

Somewhere, in a working man’s club where cigarette-smoke-stained-walls appal, John McGinlay loiters, regaling the spiritless locals about the time he punched David Kelly in 1995 and prospered. He shovels Monster Munch into his gob, ferociously licking his beef stained fingers, salivating over what happened next. The barmaid pours him another pint, rolls her eyes and looks to the poor souls who’ve heard the story a thousand times before. She nods wearily. Big John picks at his teeth, necks his Thwaites and foams at the mouth some more. Nobody hears a thing.

Like it ever really mattered. Thanks to Nuno and what feels like a magical stroke of his beard, all such heartache is void, as the Trotters spiral into a paradigm they laughed they’d never enter, and we majestically stride towards the Promised Land they once blackened.

Make no mistake, this 4-0 win is every bit as sweet as the 29 others we’ve chalked up, as it forcefully underlines the power-shift that so many old foes find so unpalatable.

We are the one and only Wanderers? You bloody bet we are.

Bolton Wanderers Vs Wolves Preview

Nuno would never admit it but his side effectively wrapped up the title last weekend.

One point is needed for certainty but it would take a dramatic sequence of events to deny Wolves the trophy with a goal difference buffer of 13 to lean on in the unlikely event of 7 results going against them.

Still, it would be nice to get the confirmation tomorrow to trigger a possible trophy presentation at Molineux next weekend.

We go in as red hot favourites for the win.


The Trotters don’t have maths on their side just yet and need to accumulate a few more points from their remaining games to stay up.

Barnsley are only two back with a game in hand. Blues are sandwiched in the middle locked on the same points as Wanderers and only trailing by virtue of the two goals Wolves put past them last weekend.

After tomorrow Bolton’s remaining two games are favourable – away at Burton and home to Forest. It’s looking like another photo finish.

Wolves recorded their biggest win of the season in the reverse fixture at Molineux contributing to Bolton’s status as the worst performing away team in the division with just one win from 22 matches.

They nearly snatched a seismic victory at Oakwell last weekend, but in trademark style couldn’t hold on in injury time.


I haven’t heard anything about Ivan Cavaleiro’s injury as I write this, but it looked like a hamstring tweak so assuming he’s done for the season.

Fortunately, Helder Costa has been back to his best lately and with Jota too looking sharper than he has for a while, we’ve got plenty of cover.

It would be nice to see Bonatini sign off the season with a few goals, but I’d start Benik.

Should we get the point we need tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if Nuno gives game time to some of the more peripheral figures in the remaining matches.


This is a fixture we notoriously struggle to win but surely there will never be a better chance than now?

Not even the Bolton hoodoo, the curse of the former players and their appetite for the result can stop this Wolves side if they produce a performance.

I’m backing us for a 14th away win.


Up The Wolves!

Wolves 2 Birmingham City 0

Response is the key ingredient when you’re trying to achieve anything in football.

It’s telling then, that every time this Wolves team have needed to follow-up a big result – good or bad – they have responded.

From ecstasy at Ashton Gate in December, the comprehensive win over Brentford days later was just as important. The same applies to beating Derby after coming through at Cardiff.

Or what about bouncing back after that shock home defeat to Forest by grinding out a win at Portman Road? Or trouncing Leeds after losing at Fulham?

They’ve won big and they’ve lost big, but every time they’ve been sure to double down in the aftermath. That has been the difference.

Perhaps the most impressive response of all was in the wake of that defeat at Villa Park when serious questions were being asked.

Can they handle the pressure? Will they cave in? Have they been figured out?

Six victories and no defeats in the seven games that have since followed make light of the above.

Yesterday was no different. Having celebrated promotion just hours earlier, they’d be forgiven for a drop off in intensity.

Instead, they got it done, just as they have done so many times before. Nothing too flashy, just a clinical, cold kill of a Birmingham side desperate to spoil the party.

Blues had their chances, most notably in the opening minutes (from an offside position) that John Ruddy acrobatically repelled.

Wolves only manufactured one clear sighter in the first half but three precision passes were enough to give Jota a 17th goal of the season.

Garry Monk made his smash and grab intentions clear from his team selection and the subsequent retreat, but would have been pleased his team stayed in it for so long, particularly after the sending off.

Benik Afobe’s tidy finish settled any lingering doubts with his own attention now surely focused on where he’ll be playing next season.

There’s no such confusion for Wolves and the hope now is that they build on promotion in the same way they have everything else in the last year – with a big response.

The pack is back.

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