Patience 'is key to finding winning philosophy'

Wolves boss Terry Connor has had 10 games to do it.

WOLVES 8 GD 26

Wolves boss Terry Connor has had 10 games to do it.

Swansea have spent five years and three managers working on it.

Brendan Rodgers’ stylish outfit have surprised many outside of south Wales this season as their passing game has left teams such as Wolves trailing in their wake, looking short of ideas.

Building an attractive, winning brand of football is one of several issues Wolves will be debating in the wake of relegation this summer. But it takes much longer than 10 games to change a philosophy.

At Swansea, successive managers Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa and now Rodgers have been allowed to nurture a similar style of football with a similar group of players since 2007.

It has stood the club in remarkable stead and has taken them through two divisions and halfway up the Premier League, having spent a fraction of the money of several top-flight clubs, including Wolves.

So how has it all evolved?

“It takes a while,” said Connor. “You need to get the right players in all positions who are comfortable in what they’re doing and buy into a certain style of play.

“It’s fine when you’re winning games, but it’s about sticking to it when you’re under pressure and Swansea have stuck to that philosophy. Their players have grown up with it and are very comfortable with it – they do it very well.”

Whether Wolves change their style of play over time is a debate that’s already underway, from city centre pubs to the boardroom.

But whatever the conclusions, Connor believes tomorrow’s opponents have benefitted from being prepared to be patient and brave enough to allow it to bed in, with the confidence that it would succeed.

“Maybe Swansea have a group of players who had already being doing it and were OK with it and didn’t have to change too much,” said Connor. “Their beliefs were set in what they were going to do and they took it into the Premier League very well.

“I think that’s something at Swansea that goes back from Brendan Rodgers to  Paulo Sousa and back to Roberto Martinez.

“There has been a succession of managers playing that way and the players are well versed in those beliefs.”

So could a change of playing style benefit Wolves?

“I think that’s one for everyone to decide from May 14,” said Connor.

“If you see the stats against Man City, we actually had more possession than they did.

“We played one of the best teams in the Premier League and had more possession – but they scored the two goals.

“There are many different styles and you try to encompass as many as you can.

“I’ve seen Swansea kick the ball more than 10 yards and kick it in the air – and I’ve seen Man United and Man City do it as well.

“You find a style and philosophy which the club are happy with.”

Connor’s Wolves are slightly different to Mick McCarthy’s Wolves.

The former assistant manager has brought a few changes towards making the Molineux men more of a passing outfit.

But he still fiercely and proudly embraces the core values that have been cornerstones of McCarthy’s teams: Honesty and hard work.

“I’ve been trying to get the players to be competitive and play good football and turn those performances into wins,” said Connor.

“We’re in a results business and it’s about trying to find a style which suits our players and gets us to perform and win matches.

“Mick brought qualities of honesty and hard work and they’re not dirty words, they’re good virtues to have.”