Losing one of the greatest players from the past and speculation about the furture of a matchwinner from the present...it’s not been the easiest week for Wolves.
While the sad passing of the player recognised as the club’s most naturally gifted – Peter Broadbent – has had fans in mourning these past few days, it’s the future of Bakary Sako that is the most debated.
Nottingham Forest have spent the last few days pushing hard for the French winger, and given his state of mind at the moment after Wolves ended talks following several days of ‘will-he, won’t-he?’, it seems unlikely he will grace Wolves’ first trip to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
It’s understood he didn’t travel with the rest of the squad.
Either way, it has to be business as usual if Wolves are to continue their rise from the ashes of the last two seasons tomorrow.
Colchester v Wolves doesn’t sound like a game with many parallels – they have only met 10 times before, and never at this level.
But like the Molineux men, many of the Us players are bidding to return to the big time after spending time with Premier League clubs.
“I know a lot about Colchester, as I do about most of the teams in the division,” said head coach Kenny Jackett.
“They pick their players up mainly from the London area, if not Ipswich and Norwich – that’s a strong line of feed of players that go in there.
“They have Craig Eastmond in midfield from Arsenal who we took to Millwall where he actually broke his ankle in training.
“Freddie Sears had a big fanfare as a young player at West Ham, and they’ve taken Jeffrey Monakana (ex-Arsenal) from Preston, David Wright from Crystal Palace, Matthew Taylor from Charlton and the left-back Luke Garbutt on loan from Everton.
“Young Sam Walker, the goalkeeper, is still highly rated and spent a long time at Chelsea.
“Jabo Ibehre has been around this level for quite some years and is quite some handful.
“Right the way through their side, they have players that would have come through from the leagues above.
“It’s tough to make it at the top level but they’re hopefully there with a view to going back up.”
It’s maybe apt that the game at Colchester’s home since 2008 – an identikit of Shrewsbury’s Greenhous Meadow – is seen as a similar occasion to Wolves’ away trip to Shropshire on September 21, in terms of what Jackett expects.
“It will be a big occasion for Colchester with Wolves going there,” he said. “We saw that with Shrewsbury the other week.
“It’s about our personal standards and motivation levels, our performance and always trying to improve.
“We won’t underestimate any opposition, but when Wolves turn up at Colchester, it will be one of their biggest games of the season. We have to be ready for that.”
There could be a reshuffle, with a possible recall for Richard Stearman at centre-back, Sam Ricketts switching back to left-back and Scott Golbourne deployed further forward.
Wolves are yet to concede in the first half of any game this season and whoever plays at the back, Jackett is looking to extend that as the team seeks a third successive clean sheet.
“We have steadily improved defensively as a team, and we want to keep it that way,” he said.