Johnny Phillips: Wolves now afforded time after their strong start
Time is a precious commodity in football.
Gary O’Neil has bought that, not only for himself, but also the club, as Wolves prepare for a hectic fixture list in December followed by a January transfer window.
Calm has been restored; the playing squad is on-board with the coaching staff and the league position removes any clamour to spend their way out of trouble, as happened last winter.
The win over Manchester City was not a one-off and supporters have been given encouragement that there is more to come after the stunning comeback against Spurs. Nobody is getting carried away, though.
Those in attendance at Bramall Lane know the VAR decision against Sheffield United did not mask a dreadful half of football against limited opposition. Wolves are still capable of putting in a shocker and O’Neil wants greater consistency from his side.
His squad will not be dramatically strengthened in January, with very little money available.
The recruitment department is working on bringing in at least two forward players – a central striker and a winger.
The consensus at Compton is that Fabio Silva has had his chances. The coaching staff do not see a future for him at Wolves, but his departure is not a straightforward issue.
Whereas some recognise the club must suffer a huge financial hit on the player and make a clean break, those who write the cheques still want to recoup a large sum of money.
That is surely unrealistic, but it may lead to the player leaving on loan rather than being allowed to depart permanently, despite it being better for all parties if a definitive line was drawn under the episode.
Che Adams is regarded as a short-term option to come in, but the player is believed to be wanting to run his contract down at Southampton in order to take up more lucrative options in the summer, which makes any deal difficult.
Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho has also been spoken about, but his club is under no pressure to sell.
A couple of options from abroad are being seriously considered instead and this is a more likely source, particularly as the January window is not usually full of options.
O’Neil’s major request during the last window was for a ‘number nine’ type striker.