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Wolves legend John Richards: New boss Julen Lopetegui needs January firepower

Wolves legend John Richards hopes to see new boss Julen Lopetegui backed to bring the necessary firepower into Molineux.

Julen Lopetegui (Getty)
Julen Lopetegui (Getty)

Richards, scorer of 194 Wolves goals – the second most in the club’s history – is confident Lopetegui can guide the side clear of the Premier League mire with one or two January additions.

The two-time Wolves League Cup winner believes the Spanish head coach has inherited a strong squad, but adjustments are required up front to climb from the foot of the Premier League table.

“I would think that would’ve been part of the negotiations, him (Lopetegui) seeing one or two players he would like to bring in,” Richards told the Express & Star.

“With his reputation, he’ll have the contacts with agents and players looking to move and he can attract them.

“He wouldn’t have even considered coming if unable to bring the player or players in he wanted to. That gives me a lot more comfort that he will get that backing.”

Asked if he sees Lopetegui’s Wolves struggling without the necessary additions, Richards said: “Yes – because then it’s the same old. “We might think Raul could be fitter and firing, but it’s still the same style of play we’ve had, I’d like to think the new manager will change that style of play.

“Hopefully that will help create and score more goals, that’s the key part of it.

“It’s not going to be easy, I think we all know that. If you’re at the bottom of the table things tend to go against you.

“But it’s almost like a fresh start for us and I just think we’ve got a good squad of players there, good enough to stay in the Premier League with one or two minor additions.”

Richards added: “The timing (of the replacement) was important, they needed to get it done when they did at the latest, (rather than) to have left it until the end of the World Cup, when players were coming back.

“At least now he’s got the time with the players to get his message across and settle in, I think that’s crucial to start with.

“His pedigree is very good, he’s highly thought of and you would like to think he has positive ideas about how to improve things.

“My own personal view is that the team is not a bad team – it’s too good to be at the bottom.

“We’ve got a good defence, a good midfield, it’s just that important area of scoring goals where we’re lacking.

“The rest of the squad is good enough to stay in the Premier League, no doubt about it.”

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