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'Business as usual' for Wolves ahead of Europa campaign

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Sporting director Kevin Thelwell says it's 'business as usual' for Wolves as they try and incorporate the Europa League into their pre-season schedule.

Kevin Thelwell, sporting director at Wolves

Other than the Premier League Asia Trophy in China, where Wolves will face Newcastle and then either Manchester City or West Ham, the club haven't arranged a single friendly for this summer.

Instead, the Europa League qualifiers will help act as a warm-up for the Premier League campaign.

Thelwell said: "We’re obviously aware of the Europa League and there’s an early start in terms of formal games, but generally we’re trying to treat it as business as usual. Everybody’s back in nice and relaxed, so we’re looking forward to getting started.

“We’re integrating the Europa League games into the fixture plan. Usually we’d have six or seven friendly games before we take on competitive action, but it’s impossible to do it this time around.

“It’s about incorporating the Europa games into the overall plan, building towards the Premier League.

"We can’t wait (for the new season). Obviously, the last two years have been incredible in terms of the seasons we’ve had, so it’s very much about trying to hit that repeat button, which I’ve said before.

"With the added spice of the Europa League, I think everybody’s just generally excited about pre-season, going to Asia, the Europa League, and then of course doing the very best we can to do exactly what we did last year in the Premier League.”

Wolves travel to China next weekend for the club's first ever trip to the country.

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Thelwell said it was an excursion they were all looking forward to.

“It’s fantastic for us to be involved, by the very fact our owners are Chinese and based in Shanghai," he added. "It’s a big deal for everybody, we want it to be a great environment and a great tournament, but also want it to be a roaring success.

“It’s something brand new for us, to be able to travel to Shanghai as a team, although many of us have been individually before, so it’s another exciting part of what’s being achieved here.

“We’re under no allusions that it’s going to be a busy time, there’s going to be lots for the team and staff to contend with, but it’s something we’re looking forward to.”

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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