Kenny Jackett today kicked off the countdown to Wolves’ showdown with Sheffield United on Saturday when he warned their opponents’ struggles show how hard it is to escape League One.
The collision of the two biggest clubs at this level at Molineux is a reminder of how things don’t always go to plan, with the Blades the third tier’s bridesmaids.
United missed out in the play-off semi-finals last season to eventual winners Yeovil, a year after blowing the title then losing at Wembley in the final against Huddersfield.
Wolves are looking to go straight back up after relegation from the Championship, a fate the Blades suffered in 2011.
The hangover of those near misses appear to have spilled over into this campaign, with David Weir’s side currently third bottom after five straight league defeats.
And Jackett has warned there is no promotion guarantee to big clubs in League One.
“They’re a genuinely big club and their expectation level is big,” said Jackett.
“Looking what’s happened to them in the last couple of years shows you how hard it is to get out of this division.
“This is their third season at League One level, but they’ve been very close to going up.
“A couple of years ago, the Chad Evans court case perhaps made a big difference.
“Sheffield Wednesday went up in their place, just at the end of the season after Sheffield United had been setting the pace for most of the season.
“That was a fantastic opportunity and I felt for Danny Wilson – he suddenly lost his centre forward who went to prison and robbed him of a great opportunity for sure.”
Jackett believes the Blades haven’t left it too late for a third successive promotion attempt.
But he reckons the table is taking shape.
He added: “You can see the ones going to be our competitors.
“The table is taking shape – Rotherham and Bradford have had good starts.
“Just below that, Brentford are well fancied after they probably should have got promotion last season.
“And they’ve probably signed eight players on top of a squad that did well last season.”
Jackett believes United can rescue their season.
“It’s very early days and they’ve got some good players,” he said.
“I’m sure they’ll be disappointed, but there are over 100 points to compete for, so anything’s possible.
“It’s not to say with over 100 points to play for that you can’t get it right and have a good season.”