Flying Dutchman Rajiv van La Parra has brushed off praise for his exciting start for Wolves by insisting“judge me after six months.”
The 23-year-old wide man has hit the ground running following the free-transfer move from Heerenveen, where he was a big fans’ favourite.
Fulham were the latest team to struggle to cope with the pacy winger in Wednesday night’s 1-0 win at Craven Cottage when he terrorised full debutant Sean Kavanagh.
Van La Parra is currently keeping heroes of last season’s promotion triumph James Henry and Michael Jacobs on the bench.
But the former Holland Under-21 international believes it’s too premature to judge him.
“It’s the beginning of the season and still very early so I believe I can get better,” he said.
“It’s been a good three games but it’s after six months that we can look and see if I’ve kept up at that standard.
“Now it’s too early to be getting carried away with anything.”
Van La Parra puts his impressive start down to the rigorous pre-season, which he admits was different to what he is used to.
“Coming through pre-season has helped me a lot,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure how tough it was going to be and pre-season is not like that in Holland so it took a bit of getting used to.
“It helped me to get fitter and to get minutes on the pitch and then it was another step-up when the season started because the pre-season games are very different to the Championship.”
Van La Parra is relishing the possession-based football Wolves are playing, which is allowing him plenty of time on the ball.
“I enjoyed the Fulham game, especially the second half when I was able to get on the ball more,” he said.
“That’s when I’m able to do more and contribute in the game. I really like the system of how we play and it’s similar to how we play in Holland.
“We play good football as well which is good for me and not the long ball. That’s helped me settle in because for me the biggest thing is I’m important to the team and play well.
“When you sign for a club you hope you can start well and get straight into the team. That doesn’t happen many times but it’s done for me and it’s up to me to stay in there.
“It’s given me confidence and the main thing now is to keep this standard up.
“I’ve got everything here to help me to do that with good team-mates, the facilities and a coach who gives me a lot of confidence, so it’s all up to me now.
“I’ve worked hard to be here and to start well and I think if you work hard, one day it will pay off.”
Now as he prepares to return to Molineux tomorrow for the first of successive home games, with Cardiff followed by Blackburn next weekend, Van La Parra is looking to continue where he left off and continue to wow the supporters.
“I like it for the fans to get that excited feeling when I get the ball because I want to be that sort of player,” he said.
“I want it that when I get the ball people know I’m going to try to make something happen – that’s a pressure and expectation I like,” he added.
“And the fans help me as well. They give me that support and when I do good things they respond and that spurs me on. That’s important for me as well.”
Van La Parra is set to come against former Manchester United youngster Fabio Da Silva tomorrow and is relishing the test against the Blurbirds, who are unbeaten and second in the early table after two wins and a draw from their first two games.
“Cardiff will be a tough game,” he said.
“It will be difficult but in a way it’s also good for us because the teams that have been in the Premier League like to play football and that makes it a good game.”
And while he is the only Dutchman in the Wolves squad, he might not be the only Dutch speaker!
“I’m rooming with Matt Doherty whose mum is Dutch and I speak French with Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko but I’m getting on well with all the players,” he said.
“Everyone’s really helped me settle in and I feel like I’ve been here a longer time than I have.”