Like most who follow the Premier League, Roy Hodgson admits that he has been impressed with Wolves so far this season, and is wary of the confidence in their side ahead their trip to Palace on Saturday.
The Molineux club currently occupy ninth position in the table after taking 10 points from their opening seven games, claiming impressive draws against both Manchester clubs and head to SE25 on the back of a five-game unbeaten run.
Hodgson believes that good run, combined with the quality at their disposal, will result in a difficult encounter at Selhurst Park as he hopes to secure the Eagles’ first home points of the campaign.
“I’m impressed by them like everyone else, and I congratulate them on such a good start,” he said. “I’m sure their mood is very good and their confidence must be very high, and it’s a nice thing to know when you’re the manager of a team that you have that going for you.
“They definitely pose a threat. Their start has been excellent and they’re obviously a good team. We’ve done our video analysis of them, and our scouting reports and everything else that has come back has been positive with regard to how well they’re playing and what good players they have.
“It’s going to be a big test. They’re way up there in the table which for newcomers isn’t always the case, so we are preparing for a very difficult game. At the risk of being boring, that would have been the case had they been bottom of the table with no points; that wouldn’t have changed our thinking in any way. We would have still been thinking that they’re a bona fide Premier League team with very good players who are able to cause you some damage.”
Wolves have made the best start to a Premier League season in a decade, when Hull City enjoyed a flying start in 2008/09 which Hodgson still recalls. However, he believes that Nuno’s team are also well-grounded and won’t allow the acclaim being bestowed upon them in the campaign’s early months to derail their good start.
When asked if they were the best newly-promoted team in the Premier League era, Hodgson responded: “I certainly wouldn’t want that being said if I was the manager of Wolves, and that probably only depends how far you go back in time. I would remind you that Hull City were top of the Premier League not so long ago when I was at Fulham, so I’m sure that Nuno won’t be think along those terms.
“I can only say that when you’re in charge of a team like that and you’re getting all the praise coming your way, you should lap it up and enjoy it, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to his or the players’ heads. I’m sure that like ourselves and most other teams in the Premier League, they take each game as it comes and prepare for a difficult task every time they step out onto the field.”