Raising The Bar
When manager Mick MCarthy faced the press for the first time as the new Wolves manager, he was in a unique, if not unenviable position.
Having seen their finances curtailed, and with only a meagre squad, the weight of expectation that has hung heavy around the necks of every manager since Graham Turner melted, giving way to an acceptance that this current campaign would be a mission of survival and rebuilding.
In the end, only the latter proved to be true as on a shoestring, McCarthy assembled a side one win away from the play offs.
"I`ve said all along that the breathing space we were given from the lack of expectation this season has helped the players, of course it has.' Mccarthy told the Birmingham Mail this week, acknowledging the comfortable relationship he has enjoyed with Wolves supporters since taking over the helm at Molineux.
"The fans have been brilliant this season, which maybe goes back to that expectation thing, and we want to achieve something to justify that support. I don`t think I`ve done anything special, I`ve just come in and worked hard every day and I think it`s appreciated and I certainly appreciate the support I`ve had."
The current success can mean only one thing. That whatever division Wolves find themselves in next term, there will once again be an air of expectation when Mick McCarthy's side run out on a Saturday afternoon.
Privately, the club have always believed that the play off's were an achievable target.
With it now firmly within their grasp, the bar has been raised, dreams have once again startd to soar, but their is one subtle difference to campaigns gone by.
It's not based on an overconfidence, or a belief that Wolves somehow deserve to be in a higher league based on reputation, a benefactors buying power or having a team of Premiership players representing the club.
It's foundations lie in the hard work, industry and commitment shown by McCarthy's men each time they wear the famous old gold and black.
Underdogs they may turn out to be, but don't be surprised if those same traits turn McCarthy's men into genuine contenders for a Premiership place.