Interview: Ben Marshall – Wolves have done nothing yet
After six wins in eight and faced with a team that hasn't won at Molineux for 86 years, hopes will be high of another Wolves victory tonight.
But midfielder Ben Marshall is warning against any complacency – says Wolves must keep their feet on the ground if they’re to achieve anything this season.
The year was 1931 when Major Frank Buckley’s Wolves team were beaten by Bristol City in the old Second Division and, in 21 Molineux clashes since, Wolves have won 15 and drawn the other six.
That’s a remarkable barren by any standards.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s team host the Robins this evening looking to make it six points from two matches and perhaps climb into the automatic promotion places depending on results elsewhere.
Fit-again Marshall, who made his first league appearance of the campaign in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Millwall, says that while he believes Wolves have a better team than the Robins, they won't have it easy tonight. And he says that despite their good start to the season they've done nothing yet.
“We’ve given ourselves a good start but it’s still just the start, there’s a long way to go and it’s just about consistency now and building on it,” Marshall said.
“If you start getting too big for your boots and starting thinking it’s just going to come, it’s not.
“We’ve got to keep working hard and stick to what we’re doing.
“There’s a good feeling around the place but we’ve got to make sure it stays.”
Wolves also face Nottingham Forest, Barnsley, Sheffield United and Burton Albion in another busy month which also includes a Carabao Cup third round clash against Bristol Rovers.
Marshall said games like tonight’s were exactly the sort Wolves needed to win if they have any aspirations of promotion this season.
He said: “To go up, you’ve got to be looking at winning most games, especially against your Millwalls and your Bristols.
“We’ve got to concentrate on our game and the goals and victories will come.
“They’ve started well, I think they did last season too. But we’ve started well and I’d like to think we’re a better side.
“We should take that confidence into Bristol, we’re at home as well so we’ll be looking for three points.
“The new lads who’ve come in here have made a massive difference. They’ve got good personalities as well so everything is going well but we’ve got to keep it up.”
It's been a summer of change at Wolves – and for a brief time Marshall was almost one of the forgotten men.
While the club were busy signing Diogo Jota, Leo Bonatini, Ruben Neves and many more, Marshall was stuck on the treatment table, missing the whole of the pre-season friendly campaign with a thigh injury.
Not that a plethora of changes bothered Marshall, as he explained yesterday.
"For me it’s easy, anything that happens off the field is none of our business," he said.
"Some people can use it as an excuse but it’s not, you’ve just got to get on with it.
"If you’re not performing it’s your fault.
"A lot has changed but I think to think it’s changed for the better, which I think it has.
"We’re all looking forward to this season, I think we’ve got a massive chance."
Marshall made a shock comeback away at Southampton in the Carabao Cup last month after only a few days on the training field following his six-week absence.
And he was handed his first league appearance under Nuno when starting Saturday's 1-0 win over Millwall.
Marshall admits the Saints clash may have been a bit early for him – but he's just delighted to be back in the fold, with Nuno choosing to blood his returning first-team players straight into first team games, rather than under-23 matches.
"Personally playing against Southampton was probably a bit too early," he said. "I was fine and my quad was fine but I think it was just more for fitness.
"I felt better now. I still don’t feel 100 per cent but that’ll only come by playing games.
"Training’s a lot more intense and you build up your fitness more than you probably would playing under-23 games.
"You can’t beat playing on a Saturday and picking your fitness up.
"It was difficult in pre-season but when it happens you try and get your head straight and work on getting back.
"I’m quite pleased with how it went against Millwall.
"An injury’s an injury no matter when it is. It’s just about getting back fit, not rushing it. Playing 60 minutes against Millwall is probably enough so it’s about kicking on from there.
"Coming back in and starting the first game, I was quite surprised, I felt ready to play and we’ll have to see with the next games.
"I feel fit and ready to go."
And how is the 26-year-old enjoying life under Nuno? "He tells you when you’re doing wrong and he tells you when you’re doing right.
"He’s got his ideas and way of doing things and personally I think that’s what we need to push on and get promoted.
"The formation is a good way of playing. If you look at teams that have gone up in the past they’ve stuck to a formation and not changed – the opposition’s got to change for you.
"Once it works like it has being doing I think it’s difficult to play against.
"I was speaking to a couple of the Millwall lads and they said that. It just shows it is working and it speaks for itself where we are in the league."