Wolves – a Football Manager story: Chapter eight – February & March 2017

Molineux

January has ruined us. It killed any momentum we have in our haggard push towards the top two.

We have to change and we have to change quickly.

I take to the chalkboard, tweaking our oft-used 4-2-3-1 to make it more aggressive. We’d push higher up the pitch, play with a consistently high tempo and continue to exploit the talent on our flanks.

Mikel Merino is to become a figurehead of our midfield – Magnus Wolff Eikrem has been a magnificent servant to us this season, but the fact is, Merino is more technically gifted.

The significance of Jón Daði Böðvarsson, too, has begun to wane. It was time to reintroduce Nouha Dicko to the fray.

And so February started well as we stormed past Burton Albion 5-1. Hélder Costa, in an inside forward role cutting in from the left, was superb.

Burton Albion 1-5 Wolves

A tough game against top-of-the-league Newcastle follows, and we succumb to a disappointing 1-0 defeat. Beating Wigan Athletic 5-1 more than makes up for that disappointment, however.

The more attacking approach continues to have a positive effect as we next brush past Brentford 4-1.

Soon after, we finally manage to offload Ben Marshall, selling the winger – who had missed five training sessions in three months – to LA Galaxy for £2.2 million.

It was a profit, but the fans are unhappy. If they knew what was going on behind the scenes, though, they might think differently.

A crucial local derby then presents itself. As we begin to breathe down the necks of second place Norwich City, Birmingham City make the short trip to Molineux.

We win 3-0 and barely give the visitors a sniff. The decision to opt for Dicko over Böðvarsson is beginning to bear fruit.

Wolves 3-0 Birmingham

As always though, we falter at the worst moment. Within touching distance of Norwich, we fall to Reading, losing 2-1.

The dip is short lived, however, and we breeze past both Ipswich Town and Rotherham United.

And then, in plucky Wolverhampton Wanderers style, we strike lucky away at Fulham. We win 3-1, but in truth the game is tighter than the scoreline suggests.

Fulham 1-3 Wolves

It rounds off an emphatic two months for Wolves, as we put the misery of January well and truly behind us. We’ve morphed, dramatically, from a team that is hard to break down to one with entertaining, free-flowing football.

Wolves results February March 2017

Such performances have changed the dynamic of the league considerably. We end March five points off the top two and with automatic promotion a genuine possibility.

Championship league table March 2017

Can it be done as we enter the final month of season?

Read Chapter Seven

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