Kenny Jackett today thanked Wolves fans for giving him the platform to rebuild the team.
The head coach has won a major battle against what was a muted welcome from the Molineux masses to top League One and make promotion a near certainty in the coming weeks.
It’s all a far cry from an Express & Star poll before he was appointed last June, where Jackett was the fourth favourite to be Dean Saunders’ successor behind Owen Coyle, Steve McClaren and Steve Davis.
But the former Watford, Swansea and Millwall boss quickly won over the supporters with impressive results that have so far created two club records, a series of astute signings and a successful change in footballing style.
Home crowds have averaged just under 20,000 but that figure is bound to swell with a fans’ campaign 30k2WV1 aimed at attracting 30,000 for the Good Friday visit of Rotherham, which would be Molineux’s first such crowd since March 1981.
And yet a typically modest Jackett believes the rebuilding of the relationship between the supporters and the players was a hugely significant factor in the success this season.
“The big thing about Wolves is if you get it right on the pitch, the support comes in high numbers, it’s very, very vocal and the support has been terrific,” said Jackett.
“We’ve certainly had a good link with the supporters, but I felt from the start they were ready to get behind us.
“And, with the changes on the pitch, that helped, because I don’t think anyone wanted to focus on the same team.
“So those changes were needed, but after that, then they react to what they see on the pitch - as all supporters do.
“They’d probably had a long summer waiting to get back after some disappointing years, so the club can start building again.”
Jackett insists they can’t afford to take the support as a given, however.
“The backing has been very good but it’s not something we should take for granted,” he said.
“We certainly have to earn that in every single game.”
And he stressed the rebuilding of the team was down to the right mix of the ‘As’.
“It comes down to the mix of that dressing room - whether we have enough ability, athleticism and attitude to be successful,” he added.
“You then do the best you can and hope it’s going to go well but there are a lot of things out of your control that can go change it as well.
“In terms of how you do it, you break it down into sections and concentrate on those things rather than the big picture.”