I was at Meadow Lane back in November to see Wolves secure a narrow 1-0 victory.
That was a period in the season when the performances weren’t particularly inspiring, but the results were still coming.
But it was actually a 20-minute spell in the second half of that game that I first started to feel truly encouraged about what Kenny Jackett was building.
McDonald started to get on the ball and dictate play, Golbourne was bombing forward and the likes of Sako and Henry were creating chances for the forwards.
It certainly wasn’t a complete performance, but you could clearly see the intention for neat, possession-based football. We were just a few players short of doing it efficiently.
Fast forward to now and we have filled the holes and look a very good team, by League One standards at least.
Fortunately, I didn’t go to the other fixture between these two sides, which was the Johnstones Paint Trophy stalemate at Molineux that ended in penalty shootout win for County.
Wolves were woeful that evening and would have lost the game in regulation time had it not been for a string of Carl Ikeme saves.
But that victory for County was a rare highlight of a disappointing first half of the season. They’ve changed manager since, brought in a shed load of loan signings and are now a completely different proposition.
Result have been mixed of late, including a 5-1 home defeat to Walsall, a narrow 4-3 loss against Peterborough, but most recently a solid 3-0 victory over Coventry.
The Magpies easily have the worst away record, with 12 defeats from 16 games to date and only 2 wins. They have firepower though, in the shape of midfielder and Wolves-target Callum McGregor, currently on loan from Celtic.
Carl Ikeme could feature tomorrow after returning from injury. I’d be happy to see him back between the sticks, but equally have confidence in Aaron McCarey, whose done little wrong in his clutch of appearances.
Others that could come into contention for a start are James Henry, Lee Evans and Matt Doherty (I think he’s back in the squad). But I don’t the above eleven will be far off.
With so many games to come in March, the strength of the squad will be severely tested. Although we have the above options waiting in the wings, I’d worry if we lost the likes of McDonald and Dicko for any period of time. I’m sure KJ will be dipping into the loan market.
Wolves are strong favourites for the win at 9/20. County are a favourable 15/2. A £1 bet on any County win returns £8.50, so if you’re feeling pessimistic, this is a good game to put that insurance policy in place.
Nouha Dicko is the most likely first goalscorer at 15/4. The prolific (of late) Kevin McDonald is 7/1, while Callum McGregor is 11/1.
All odds are available from here.
No game last weekend so no PL points. I’ve updated the table so please do make sure you have the points you think you should have. Email me any errors via the contact page.
I don’t think County are as bad a team now as their overall position suggests. As Kenny said in his pre-match interview, they’ve used the loan market well and have some useful players.
Still, I think if Wolves play well, as they have been of late, I can only see one outcome.
Up The Wolves