Kevin Foley: Nuno's Wolves have the character to emulate class of 2009
Former Wolves Championship title winner Kevin Foley thinks the current team's character will go a long way this season as they attempt to emulate the class of 2009.
Under Nuno Espirito Santo Wolves have made their best start to a Championship campaign since Foley et all stormed to the top of the league under Mick McCarthy in 2008/09.
And the Irishman believes Wolves' ability to bounce back from defeats – just like in that season – will stand them in good stead.
"I’m glad to see it’s working and it seems like they’ve got a really good manager," Foley said.
"Some of the players, I haven’t known a lot about them before but when you talk about Champions League experience with Porto etc Wolves have done well to get them at the club.
"The proof’s in the pudding. They’re quality players and they’re proving it week in, week out.
The Championship is the hardest league I’ve ever played in but they’re getting results home and away.
"It’s such a long season – they lost at QPR last week but you can’t get too down about that because 46 games, you just have to bounce back, which they did.
"That just goes to show, especially being away from home, that they’ve got good character.
"It takes good work ethic, staying clear of injuries and having a settled team.
"The back four I was part of never really changed – I was right back, Wardy (Stephen Ward) was left back and then Jody (Craddock), Neill Collins, (Richard) Stearman and Christophe) Berra were the four centre halves. But I knew Kites (Michael Kightly) was always playing in front of me and Jarvo (Matt Jarvis) in front of Wardy, then (Karl) Henry and (David) Jones in the middle or (Dave) Edwards as well, with Sylvan (Ebanks-Blake) and Lumes (Chris Iwelumo) up front.
"Once we had a wavelength it just kept going. I had the same with Luton years before, we had a settled side, 4-4-2, no injuries and just got on a roll.
"At Wolves I think we won seven on the bounce, lost a couple and then won another seven on the bounce.
"It’s how you respond when you lose games is so important. Them doing that at Norwich the other day was a massive statement.
Foley, who since leaving Wolves in 2015 has played for Copenhagen, Ipswich, Charlton, Coventry and now non-league big-spenders Billericay Town, knows full well the impact a passionate Wolves fanbase can have on results.
"It really makes a difference – Wolves is the best team to play for when things are going well," he added.
"When it isn’t going well and you’re struggling, you can’t make a pass and you lose the ball, it can get on top of you.
"But the key, when I first signed for Wolves, my agent’s dad was a Wolves fan and his advice was ‘as long as you give 110 per cent the Wolves fans will love that and anything else is a bonus’.
"I always kept that with me. They just want to see you try hard for their club."
The 33-year-old always keen an eye on Wolves' results, as well as his hometown club Luton.
He will attend Molineux matches when he can, such as the recent 2-0 win over Fulham at Molineux when he also did radio commentary.
Foley is enjoying life with Billericay, where he's joined by fellow ex-Wolves players Jamie O'Hara and Jermaine Pennant in the Isthmian League Premier Division
"It’s quite enjoyable to win some games!" he said. "After a few bad years at Wolves with injury it carried on when I left – I went to teams for six months here, six months there and it’s not the best when you’re carrying injuries.
"The opportunity came up at Billericay where it’s part time, I just thought why not. I’ve been enjoying it – the owner’s very ambitious, they’ve got some ex-pros down there with good younger talent as well, so it’s a good mix.
"From the outside people might look at it as a joke club but on the inside it’s taken really seriously.
"We've got a first round FA Cup replay and it's the furthest the club’s gone in the FA Cup – we had to play seven games to get there! Three were replays. So it’s enjoyable and it’s just nice to be out there playing with a smile on my face."