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Conor Coady talks Wolves, penalty kicks, Ruben Neves, derby games and much more...

By Luke Hatfield | Wolves | Published:

Conor Coady spoke heavily about Wolves, promotion to the Premier League and his international ambitions with BBC Radio Merseyside this week - see what he had to say.

Conor Coady (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

Following Wolves title-winning weekend, the defender opened up about the club whilst featuring on the north-western radio station, read everything he had to say about Wolves here:

On being Champions:

"It's the best feeling in the world [to be champions], to get promoted that weekend, it was a special weekend when we found out Fulham had drew with Brentford and we went and beat Birmingham.

"But to beat Bolton 4-0 knowing we'd already been promoted, and the performance the boys put in just shows the character they've got.

"A lot of people thought we'd have been on the ale all the week and things like that but we hadn't.

"We'd done it properly, we'd trained right because we wanted to be champions and the feeling now is fantastic."

On celebrating the season:

"We've got a couple of weeks when the season's done, Saturday's our last home game, we've got Sheffield Wednesday at home where we'll lift the trophy after the game, hopefully after a win.

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"We're doing it properly. The manager's big on it, the manager won't let us die off.

"He wants to try and get over 100 points and he wants to finish off really well.

On his penalty against Bolton:

"It wasn't [planned, the penalty], I never really thought about it. I'm not the type of player who's that bothered if I score or not, as long as we win, I'm not really that fussed.

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"But, when we got the penalty, Benik Afobe got brought down for it, I just thought he'd take it and the ball would fly in the back of the net and it's four-nil, but I looked over to the manager and he was pointing and the boys were egging me on to go and take it which was a nice feeling.

Conor Coady scores his penalty against Bolton.

"It just goes to show the character in our team and the team spirit, so to get that chance to go and score a penalty in front of 5,000 Wolves fans, because they've been fantastic with me as well, It was a really special moment for me.

"I missed one, earlier in the year when we played Man City in the cup.

"I went the other way, and I thought to myself running down to get the ball 'I'm going the other way, I'm going to hit it low and hard and hopefully it will go in. I'm not going the same way as I did against Manchester City'"

"Luckily it ended up going in the back of the net, it was a special feeling."

On expecting to be successful in the Championship:

"You always expect. Being at a club like Wolves, you always do.

"Especially in the Championship, I've been in there a number of years now and it's so, so tough it really is.

"You see the manager coming in from Porto and you want to be a part of it. You see the players that the club are signing and I wanted to be a part of that, I wanted to learn and get better and hopefully have a good season with the club.

"When the manager came in he was big on game-by-game, week-by-week, we've been like that all season that's the mantra we've had all season and luckily it's worked well for us.

"Like I said it's been game-by-game and we've won a lot of them so it's been a fantastic season for everybody."

On Nuno:

"He's took the club to a new level, he really has.

"From where we've been, to where we're at now it's at a totally new level and it's all down to him since he's come in.

"He's improved the lads who were there before, he's helped us all massively in how we play on the pitch tactically, physically all his staff have been sensational with us.

"But, also the boys who've come in, they've wanted to be a part of Wolverhampton Wanderers, they've wanted to be a part of the Championship and they've wanted to get us out of it, which has been so refreshing to see from a player who's played in the division for a long time.

"To see players who have come from playing the Champions League as Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, people like this to come and really help the lads has been really, really good to watch."

Conor Coady and Nuno (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

On the vibe around Wolverhampton:

"It's gone through the roof now, it really has [the atmosphere in Wolverhampton]. It's a one-club city, they're mad for football, they really are, they love Wolverhampton Wanderers, they really do.

"And what they've been like [the fans] this season, they've travelled with us home and away in their thousands, it's been remarkable really. And to give them this sort of season has been special for everybody.

"I'm sure every single one of the Wolves fans will remember it forever."

On who he thinks will go up:

"It's nice to watch at the minute, believe me.

"Obviously Cardiff played, they're in pole position at the minute. They're good at what they do, they perform well, they make things horrible for you.

"I've played them a couple of times this year, they beat us once at Molineux and we managed to beat them away, but they make things horrible for you.

"They win games by doing it the horrible way but they've done it and they've got themselves into second and they're in pole position at the minute.

"I think they'd be very, very disappointed if they dropped out but Fulham are chasing them down really fast."

On Ruben Neves:

"He's important to us. As a player he's very special, he's a talented football but more importantly he's a great lad.

"He was one of the players who wanted to come to this football club and help us and help us get out of the division.

"What he's done this season and the way he's adapted to the division and to the team.

"I heard a lot of people talking about him at the start of the season saying that obviously he's come in from Porto and the Champions League, would he adapt to the Championship and the physicality of it? But he's taken to it like a duck to water.

"He's been sensational all season, I think he's scored six from outside the box. It's remarkable things he's doing, the goals he's scoring are sensational and he's a fantastic footballer.

"The one against Derby, he's been scoring them all season that's not the only one.

Conor Coady celebrates with Ruben Neves after the midfielder's goal against Derby.

"That was the best of the lot, believe me I was stood right behind it, and his touch was a little bit off for Ruben as well. His touch actually comes up and the way he manipulated his body to get back around and put it in the top corner was brilliant.

"I remember one at Sheffield Wednesday which was totally different. It came out to him at the edge of the box and he passes it into the bottom corner with the inside of his foot and it was like a penalty, but from about 25 yards that was what it was.

"What he has and how calm he is on the ball, he's different level."

On comparing Neves to Steven Gerrard:

"In terms of my professional career, at Liverpool I made my debut which was a sensational feeling for myself. But I think after Liverpool, that was when my career really started in terms of playing properly first-team football.

"I wanted to do it at Liverpool and it never happened, and he's by far one of the best players I've played with by a country mile, he's that good, he really is.

"When I was coming through, Steven Gerrard was playing more as a sitting midfielder under Brendan Rodgers, when we come second in the league.

"He was a sitter and Ruben's very similar in terms of his passing range. The way he manipulates a ball around his feet, around defenders and picks out passes, he's very, very similar in that mould.

"In that bracket he is one of the best players I've played with.

"To be fair, he does it [work hard], he listens to everybody. That was one of the best things about him, he come in and wanted to be a part of it. He wanted to learn.

"He's 21 years of age, he's playing well beyond his years at the minute. That was the biggest thing about it, he wanted to come in and learn, he listens, he helps all the boys, he talks.

"But not forgetting he's one of the youngest ever captains for Porto in the Champions League, that's what he is.

"Everything he's brought to the table has been fantastic."

On being Wolves captain:

"What's brilliant about our football club is that we've got a lot of experienced lads in the changing room.

"Danny Batth who is the club captain, he's fantastic with everybody. John Ruddy has come in, Ryan Bennett has come in from Norwich at the start of the season, and they've really helped bring the lads together.

"We had a lot of foreign boys come in at the start of the season. They've brought everybody together, so it's not just me in terms of that.

Conor Coady has captained Wolves when Danny Batth is off the pitch this season (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

"There's a real group of lads who have experience and have been in the division a long time who help the boys come through, so it's fantastic to have that within your changing room."

On Wolves history and Steve Bull's presence at the club:

"Bully's around all the time.

"He's there on game days, he speaks very well, he's a fantastic fella [sic] he really is.

"He's a Wolverhampton lad through and through and he's brilliant for the football club, and he speaks to everybody."

On the Premier League transition:

"It's hard to say because I've never made that transition yet.

"But I think in terms of what I see, you see Huddersfield and the three promoted teams from last season and they all look safe at the minute.

"The Championship is a really good league in terms of quality and things like that. So I don't think it's as big as what people think [the difference], but I think I'll know more going into next season.

"If you just look at the promoted sides from last season, how well they've done this season I don't think it's as big as what people think."

On West Brom's relegation:

"It's one as players we don't really look at.

"We wanted to win the Championship, we wanted to be champions of the Championship.

"You want to play West Brom, as a Wolves player, as a Wolves fan.

"They all want to play West Brom, we really do. We want to play them and experience that atmosphere because we all know what it can be like.

"We're a little bit disappointed that's what it looks like [with Albion as relegation candidates] going into next season, but we've not looked at it as players, we really haven't."

On local derbies against Villa and Blues:

"They are [intense], I've played in a good number of them now.

Conor Coady celebrates during Wolves' 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Molineux (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

"They're fantastic games to play in. The crowd, there's that extra level in terms of the crowd.

"I think it's like most derbies. Growing up, watching Liverpool v Everton, it's like most derbies, and they're fantastic games to play in.

"They're not good when you're on the losing end, but when you're on the winning side it's a fantastic feeling.

"If you can't get yourself up for a derby, then I think there's a problem.

"Being a football player it makes it a little easier in terms of the adrenaline going into games and things like that.

"You must be up for them games.

"This season, luckily we've been on the end of some wins, which has been nice. But in terms of derbies, I think they're easier to get up for."

On speaking to the team about the Premier League:

"We've not [discussed it].

"The manager doesn't really let that happen, he's big on enjoying the moment at the minute, finishing off the season well.

"He doesn't let us get our heads down and start talking about other things.

"I think it's just in terms of enjoying the moment that we're in now.

"It's no mean feat what we've done this season, we've played some fantastic football, we've won a lot of games and we're going to enjoy where we're at."

On finishing in the top half next season and the football Wolves play:

"You know what the best thing about it is? Everybody's looking forward at this football club.

"Everybody's excited, that's a fantastic feeling that Wolves fans are actually thinking them sorts of things.

"You want to make that happen, everybody dreams of finishing as high as they possibly can in the Premier League.

"That's what we want to happen, but we know how tough it's going to be.

"As a football club we'll move forward, we'll keep on improving, but we'll keep on doing what we've done this season."

On playing against Liverpool and Everton next season:

"It's special. We done Liverpool last season, we played there in the cup and it was a good feeling.

"But to do that in the Premier League, it would be something different.

"It's a special time, it's a great time for the football club in terms of Wolverhampton Wanderers to be pitting themselves against that sort of opposition and testing ourselves against that sort of opposition.

"I know everybody who's linked with the football club can't wait for it."

On nearly knocking Manchester City out of the cup:

"We went into it with the same game plan as what we do very single game.

"We had no different game plan, we never changed anything. We all know how good Manchester City are and they've been by far the best team in the Premier League all season.

"Don't get me wrong, we defended a lot, we had to. But we caught them on the counter attack a few times which was nice and it was something we looked at going into the game.

Wolves almost got the better of Manchester City earlier this season (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

"It was a great night for everybody involved in terms of remembering it. It was a nice cup game for everybody, but we wanted to win it and we never.

"So we were a bit disappointed that we took them all that way but couldn't get over the line at the end.

"We nearly had them. On the night we were sensational, we made a lot of changes as well.

"To go there and take them all that way, it was a good night."

On his international ambitions:

"It's a great feeling to pull on the white shirt [at youth level], it's special.

"To go away with them, everything you get. Everything's there for you, you know you're playing with the best players in the country.

"When I used to do it as a kid it was great for me. I used to love every minute of it, and we won a lot of games with England, we won the U17s which was a great time for me as a young lad.

"I've not looked at that [playing senior international football].

"Don't get me wrong, everybody dreams of playing for England, everybody does and I think people would be lying if they never said that.

"It's the pinnacle of any player's career, but at the minute I've really enjoyed the season, I've loved every part of it.

"If something comes further down the line then you look at it then, but at the minute I'm not thinking of anything like that, I'm just enjoying where we are.

On Southgate's comments about him this week:

"It's one that's lovely to hear, but he's right, you've got to step up to that next level, you've got to be playing well within the Premier League to get anywhere near.

"People will probably be laughing because I'm a Championship player but he's exactly right, it's all up to me and what I do.

Gareth Southgate spoke warmly of Coady with the Express & Star.

"Hopefully I can just carry on improving, listen to the manager, that's all I want to do, listen to what he wants from me and improve through him."

Read Gareth Southgate's thoughts on Conor Coady here.

On Villa possibly coming up:

"It would be good for the Midlands if that was to happen.

"We've had some great games against them this year, we beat them 2-0 at Molineux and they played really well against us at Villa Park - it was a tough game for us that day and we never played that well and they beat us 4-1.

"It was a tough night for us but Villa are a huge side, no matter what people say they're a big side and they've done well this season in terms of where they are in the league.

"If they can get to the Premier League via the play-offs it would be good for the Midlands in general."

On easing off this season:

"Our manager doesn't let that happen, we're being on it.

"People think we've been on the ale and things like that but it's been exactly the same since we won the league and since we got promoted.

"Everything's been the same, we want to keep on winning football games until the end of the season now."

You can listen to Coady's entire interview with BBC Radio Merseyside here.

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield
Digital Sports Journalist - @LHatfield_Star

Sports Journalist with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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