Willie Carr believes in Wolves’ Euro stars
Wolves great Willie Carr has backed his old club to make it to the Europa League group stages after how they rose to big occasions last season.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have got to make it through three two-legged qualifying rounds, with the first game taking place on July 25.
And Carr, who played in Wolves’ last European foray 39 years ago, thinks their run to the FA Cup semi-finals and wins over Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League last term stand them in good stead.
“I think a lot of the lads have got the experience of playing across the continent and have an idea of what to expect,” said Carr, who made 237 appearances for Wolves from 1975 until 1982.
“And with the way the team plays, they should be suited to that European style. I don’t think they will be fazed by it at all.
“I’ve got high hopes for them. They play really good football and have done well against top sides.
“The two lads up front, Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, are a real handful as well, so I think they’ll do well and make it to the group stages.”
Carr played in 1980 as Wolves – back when the UEFA Cup was in a knockout format – bowed out in the first round against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven with a 3-2 loss on aggregate.
Wolves lost 3-1 in the Netherlands before a 1-0 win at Molineux, in which the floodlights briefly went out, was not enough.
Reflecting on those games, Carr said: “We didn’t last very long, did we?
“We fell at the first hurdle after such a good season before, finishing sixth in the top flight and winning the League Cup.”
And he joked: “The best thing was that because PSV were sponsored by Philips, we all got a free electric shaver after the game!”
Wolves will find out who they will face in the second qualifying round on Wednesday, June 19.
Meanwhile, Wolves Under-23s are heading out to Europe as part of their pre-season schedule.
Rob Edwards’ charges are going to Spain to face Villarreal B on Sunday, July 19, with the kick-off time to be confirmed.
On the back of promotion to PL2 Division One, they are also travelling north of the border to face Celtic on Wednesday, July 31 (kick-off also TBC). The Wolves youngsters are also making trips to AFC Wulfrunians, Hednesford Town, Hereford United, Kidderminster Harriers and Swansea City.