Football: Wolves Dip into Psychology; GED Scott Discovers a Positive Pre-Season Mood at Molineux, While in the Company of an Incurably Optimistic Sir Jack Hayward
Byline: Ged Scott
The pain of missing out on the Premiership still clearly hurts at Molineux. But that won't stop Wolverhampton Wanderers talking a good game when it comes to renewing the agonising struggle to get back into the top flight.
This year, they are even getting in a sports psychologist to help win the mindgames and bring promotion to the Premiership at the club's 14th successive attempt. Last term, an 11-point advantage over West Bromwich Albion with seven games left, pounds 14 million, and even a bit of pre-season feng shui could not do the trick.
Ths time around, Wolves owner Sir Jack Hayward will get his wish by bringing in a top psychologist. 'They've all got one apart from us,' he said.
'A lot of English people don't fancy some of these American ideas and there has been resistance here, but I'm going to insist. I know I need one after the end of last season!
'Birmingham, Norwich and the Baggies all used one and, if we'd had someone who could have worked oneon-one with our players, I think he could have made a difference.
'I know when Norwich beat us 3-1 in the first leg of the play-offs, their manager [Nigel Worthington] put it all down to the sports psychologist that he'd had working with his players.
'I know Birmingham had the same bloke and Tim Henman has one and it hasn't done him any harm.'
Certainly, getting an expert in to talk up Wolves' chances will certainly come a lot cheaper than last season's pounds 14m outlay.
Despite the official unveiling yesterday of a new shirt sponsorship deal potentially worth pounds 1.5m from Doritos (Martin Glenn, the chief executive of Walkers Crisps is, like Sir Jack, another lifelong Wolves fan), there are extremely limited funds in this season's Molineux transfer kitty.
To add to the woe of manager Dave Jones, as he recovers at home from an unseasonal attack of pneumonia picked up while on holiday, Sir Jack knows for certain that only the sale of either his biggest asset, or getting rid of a few more fringe first-teamers, will fill the coffers. …