As Wolves look to recover from a disappointing defeat to Bolton, David Evans looks at why October is the month to cause concern.
Do you know that Wolves always come out of an late summer international break badly?
It always seems to happen. So when Wolves lost away to the Macron Stadium, it didn’t come as a surprise.
Also, the gold and black army have a long history of being unable to gain three points away to the Trotters.
Saturday’s defeat added a bit more uncomfortable pressure on the shoulders of Kenny Jackett.
Team selection, tactics and substitute choices were all questioned. Add in the post match ‘naive’ comment and a dash of fans bringing back up the sale of Richard Stearman, it spells an air of doubt on the head coach.
After a tough home tie to top of the table Brighton this weekend, Wolves will spend the rest of September on the road.
Firstly against Boro in the cup, then newly promoted Preston and then Wolves v Stearman Part 1 with Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Wolves need to bounce back after a winnable game against Bolton. However October, dare I say, could revive or dent Kenny’s and Wolves fortunes this season.
After the road trip, whatever the outcomes, they will welcome three home tie’s in October. Starting with a clash to Coady’s former team Huddersfield Town.
This, however, is where the good times could stop.
Wolves follow that up with Derby away. The Rams secured their first win, a 2-1 victory away to Preston, under former Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement at the weekend.
The Rams may have struggled at the start of this season but they have a strong squad with the likes of Bent, Ince, Martin and Weimann to name a few. Derby will only get better as they gel under their new gaffer.
Wolves will also want to make amends for their 5-0 drubbing last season at Pride Park. This game, once again, will be live on the Sky in all it’s Technicolor glory.
Then two back to back home games will follow.
Brentford, who pipped Wolves to a Playoff spot last season, will look to replicate their good form their last campaign. Now under their ambitious ‘moneyball’ style recruitment system.
So far, the Bee’s haven’t had the best form either. This could be earmarked as a winnable game come 21st October.
Then Wolves will look to avenge their Capital One Cup third round defeat (let’s be honest, it will happen), to Boro. Karanka and his men will be looking to go one step further this season and make the promised land of the Premier League.
If Wolves want to be promotion candidates again, they will need to knock off the like’s of the Teeside brigade.
Wolves will finish October with a trip to Birmingham City in the derby.
Blues have started the season well under Gary Rowett. The tactician has revived the Blues since his arrival in January.
Rowett’s side are undefeated in their last ten games since April. Winning eight and drawing two.
With little or no money to spend, Blues are a team not to underestimate.
Now, reflect back on what October has in store and 15 points to play for. With Wolves current form, I can see Wolves just managing 7 points, and I’m being kind there.
Wolves home games will be their comfort blanket but most of the teams they take on are likely to be the pace setters for the top 6-8.
Kenny will need to start gathering momentum going into these games to stand a chance of getting a result.
Going into October, Jackett will also want to avoid a repeat of the ‘Nightmare November’ we experienced last season.
Kenny needs to find his best starting eleven and play then consistently.
Ikeme’s Nigerian heroics are being countered by the potential in Arsenal loanee Martinez. Both are fine goalkeepers, but Wolves need to choose one and stick to them for a run of games.
The like’s of Ebanks-Landell and Hause will still make mistakes as this new partnership forms. They will need fans patience and time.
Jackett will need to carefully decide whether to rush back the now experienced centre back Danny Batth and put him back into the mix.
Danny’s influence is evidently missed. Especially given the sale of Stearman. Would his inclusion just throw more unbalance into the defence?
Remember Wolves defensive tinkering during the same time last season? Stearman and Golbourne swapped for Rowe and Ebanks-Landell before Iorfa and Hause arrived on the scene in early December.
Consistency is the aim of the game here.
Wolves are about to enter game seven. There is still no panic button to press yet.
If Wolves leave September worse then they entered, October will be a very tough way to find a renaissance.
(Image via www.wolves.co.uk)