Wolves cap­tain Conor Coady on the rev­o­lu­tion tak­ing place at Mo­lineux

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By John Wragg

SIT­TING in a dress­ing room at the Sir Jack Hay­ward train­ing ground, Conor Coady laughs when it’s put to him that Wolves are the Manch­ester City of the Cham­pi­onship.

There are par­al­lels. City are dom­i­nat­ing the Premier League with style and goals, yet to be beaten by any­one.

Wolves are lead­ing the Cham­pi­onship, a team that Bolton man­ager Phil Parkin­son says will win the league by ten points and, like City, are a side of style, goals.

The am­bi­tions might be dif­fer­ent. City want to be the best club side in Europe, then the world. Wolves want to be back in the Premier League.

City have spent one for­tune and then two more re­cruit­ing the best tal­ent avail­able.

Wolves can out­spend any­one in the Cham­pi­onship, prob­a­bly three-quar­ters of the Premier League as well, and have re­cruited from Por­tu­gal and Brazil.

Coady is one of the play­ers who was at Wolves be­fore the rev­o­lu­tion and has made him­self an in­te­gral part of what they are do­ing.

He had a taste of what it will be like if Wolves get up when he played against Manch­ester City at the Eti­had in the Carabao Cup and lost only on penal­ties.

Wolves stopped Manch­ester City scor­ing, the only team to do that this sea­son.


Coady was at the cen­tre of Wolves’ de­fence as City’s sky blue was turned at least a light shade of pur­ple with em­bar­rass­ment.

“It’s not some­thing here where we want to play like other teams,” says Coady as he an­swers the City anal­ogy.

“The man­ager has im­ple­mented his own way of play­ing, his own style and the boys have bought into it.

“We want to keep learn­ing off him. Ev­ery­body is on the same wave­length, where we want to go.

“It’s some­thing where we have a way of play­ing and we don’t want to go away from that.

“We do it our way and see if teams can stop us.”

There is an echo of City there.

The man be­hind it all, Wolves’ own Pep Guardi­ola, is Nuno Espir­ito Santo. He’s sim­ply “Nuno” at Wolves and close to be­ing a mir­a­cle worker. He’s a pri­vate man who has ex­tremes. He is volatile on the touch­line, re­spect­ful but cau­tious when he talks to the me­dia. Coady opens up on how Nuno op­er­ates. “We have been learn­ing since pre-sea­son, since he came in. Every­thing is the same in train­ing, very repet­i­tive. We do a lot of team pos­ses­sion, a lot of de­fen­sive work. He’s huge on clean sheets. “His at­ten­tion to de­tail is mas­sive. “Ev­ery­body has bought into it. They know their role in­side out.”

City have what looks like a gimme and lots more goals at home to West Ham to­day, while Wolves have a tough lo­cal derby tomorrow, away to Birm­ing­ham on a cold Mon­day night.

Wolves have outscored Manch­ester City over the last five games. It’s 15-10, with Wolves red­hot in the last two with nine.


Birm­ing­ham are be­ing turned into an at­tri­tional side un­der Steve Cot­ter­ill. The Bovril will be steam­ing on the Kop, tra­di­tional English win­ter football.

Wolves’ six Por­tuguese and one Brazil­ian are not sup­posed to fancy this, are they? Will Wolves freeze?

“I keep on hear­ing lit­tle things like that. That it’s go­ing to be tough on the boys,” says Coady, him­self Liver­pool-born with medals for rainy nights at Mill­wall and dou­ble­layer days at Bur­ton.

“It gets cold in Por­tu­gal as well. And it rains. These boys can play. They have fan­tas­tic tal­ent. It doesn’t mat­ter if it’s rain­ing, sunny, snowy, these boys will play. We know what’s be­ing said, we have a lit­tle laugh about it and we are ready.”

Coady’s trade was as a cen­tral mid­fielder, who filled in at full­back when Wolves found them­selves short last sea­son.

But Nuno re-in­vented him as a cen­tral de­fender. No deep dis­cus­sion. Nuno just asked him in pre-sea­son to play there in a 3-4-3 for­ma­tion.

That plan has taken the Cham­pi­onship by storm and given Coady a dif­fer­ent ca­reer. He has been im­mense as a key man, made cap­tain while Danny Batth can’t get in the side, a Scouser, a thorn among these for­eign roses.

“I don’t know about me not un­der­stand­ing them,” says Coady. “When I’m play­ing I like to or­gan­ise from the back and I’m shout­ing away.

“They just nod. I don’t think they un­der­stand a word.”

As a Liver­pool fan, Coady smiles again when it’s put to him that Wolves might take Ever­ton’s place in the Premier League.

“I’m not get­ting into that one,” he says. “Any­way, I don’t think Ever­ton will go down now Sam Al­lardyce is there.” Di­plo­mat­i­cally dodged. Coady’s big­gest moment in football to date is Wolves’ 2-1 vic­tory at An­field in the FA Cup last sea­son.


He was on Liver­pool’s books from six years old un­til he left, ini­tially on loan, to Sh­effield United in 2013, see­ing no way into a mid­field that had Steven Ger­rard, Jor­dan Hen­der­son and Joe Allen in it.

Hud­der­s­field was next where, iron­i­cally, he scored one of his rare goals, a 30-yarder at Mo­lineux in a win that stopped Wolves go­ing top of the Cham­pi­onship three years ago.

Kenny Jack­ett, one of the four man­agers Wolves have had since Fo­sun In­ter­na­tional bought the club, paid £2m for Coady and now he could be head­ing back to play Liver­pool on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

That Cup win was the first time Coady had played at An­field, his two ap­pear­ances be­ing away in the Europa League and at Ful­ham.

“Win­ning at Liver­pool was very spe­cial to me,” says Coady. “I had loads of fam­ily there. To think of maybe go­ing back next sea­son with Wolves and play my first Premier League game there...spe­cial, yes.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­age

NUNO: A pri­vate man of ex­tremes PREMIER STYLE: Classy Manch­ester City CHAM­PI­ONSHIP PEDIGREE: Lead­ers Wolves EARLY DOORS: With Liver­pool LEADER: ‘I shout, they nod but I don’t think they un­der­stand a word

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