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02/03: Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Opposition opinion
by Wolves fans Lee Barnes, Mark Blackman and Phil Bradley

What happened last season?
Lee: I wish I knew. We had a better start to the season than any of us expected. Kennedy and Newton on the wings were tearing teams apart and our defence was rock solid. We were right up there, one place below the mythical land that is used to taunt Wolves fans into believing that there is a better place.

Then Newton got toothache just before xmas which rendered him totally crap for the rest of the season. We signed Nathan Blake to 'boost' our strike force (I'm sure you all remember his 1 yard miss with an open goal at your place). We got Kenny Miller on loan from Rangers who looked like the new Robbie Keane until he broke his shoulder. We still decided to bring him in for 3m and he didn't score again. Mark Kennedy kept disappearing with a mystery hamstring injury related to the angle at which he drives his ferrari (no joke!). On the plus side, we bought Dean Sturridge from Leicester for 250k and he was banging the goals in. Thanks boys - you take Akinbiyi for 5m and give us someone who can actually shoot straight for virtually nowt!

But we were still in the top two for the majority of the season. 11 points clear of 3rd place with 2 months remaining. Not even Wolves could bollock up that sort of lead. It was safe to do the Mexican wave after emerging victorious against Gillingham at home. It had to be. It wasn't arrogance. Honestly.

The rest of the season was a blur. Alb1-0n just kept grinding out those oh-so spectacular 1-0 wins, and when we lost Kennedy for the run-in we struggled terribly. Muscat managed to get sent off at the second attempt in a 1-0 defeat at home to Grimsby, and our captain Paul Butler managed to repeat the feat at home when we lost 2-0 to Man City.

Anyway, the inevitable happened and we not only managed to concede second spot to our fiercest of neighbours, we managed to go out to Norwich in the playoffs, who then allowed our second fiercest rivals to go up. Even 'little' Walsall managed to stay up.

So was it a good season? Albion, Birmingham promoted. Walsall stay up. It could not have been worse.

What's going to happen next season?
Lee: It will get worse.

Actually, I don't see how it could possibly be a worse season than last season. Albion winning the Premiership and Wolves being docked 90 points on the last day of the season to stop promotion and ensure relegation may come close.

At least we're still here. Sir Jack has made up the loss of the ITV Digital money out of his back pocket, and we look as if we're bringing a few faces in to replace the ones who have left on Bosmans (Sinton. Robinson and Muscat). A young Finnish chap from Brentford sees the club looking to the future, whilst the signing of Denis Irwin from Man U is obviously aimed at short term success.

It's hard to get excited by the coming season because of what happened last year. We know that we should be capable of at the very least a top 6 finish, possibly a top 2 considering the state of other clubs post ITV collapse.

But we are Wolves. And as long as there's a hole in Steve Bull's arse, we'll be in the same division next year.

Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
Mark: Great Western, next to railway station. To be honest most pubs outside of the centre are OK, accept for certain games. You can get fizzy crap out of a plastic cup in the ground now, too.
Phil: Depends which team you are!! Pubs near the ground are predominantly home fans only. You're better off stopping somewhere on the way into the city. The Grapevine on the A449 is a favourite of many travelling fans, it's a couple of miles out of the city though. If you aren't wearing colours, support one of the "smaller" teams in the division and there's only a couple of fans you MAY get served in one of the dozens of bars in the city, but most have doormen on who will go so far as checking your matchday ticket!!

What's the nearest railway station?
Phil:Wolverhampton station, 10 minute walk at most. The police are usually on hand to ensure a safe journey to the ground if you are from one of the bigger clubs.

Where is the best place to park?
Phil:Probably in one of the many NCP's in the city centre, it's only a 5 minute walk down to the ground from there. Probably a better idea than parking in the side streets near to the ground, unless you remove all element of club colours from the car and yourselves as sadly there is still a neanderthal element attached to the club.
Mark:Why drive from Watford - there are plenty of trains & they are quite cheap?

Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)

"Bound to raise expectations but fall flat on our face. Again. Can't be as bad as last year."

"There's a black cloud that hangs over Molineux"

"What a silly waaste of time - but since its summer, then okay"

"It could be our year"

"1 - After being 11 points clear with x games to go - I think the whole of last seasons team should be in the worst all time 11.
2 - Watford are crap."

"Rob Hindmarsh is one of the worst Wolves players ever but will live on as a legend thanks to his last minute equaliser at the Albion many years ago"

"The players above lost the famous FA Cup game vs Non league team Chorley (0-3) the 24 November 1986, the lowest point in Wolves history"

"To drunk to think about worst but it would definatley include Claridge - Blake & the chapman boy who invaded the pitch to punch when i was a stupid (but wise) teenager!!"

"Were by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen!" (sic)

"west brom are shite...."