Ged Scott on a new development which will bolster Wolves' chances...
This time a year ago, Glenn Hoddle was being lined up to take over as manager of West Bromwich Albion.
Yet despite initial overtures, Hoddle and Albion did not become an item, he waited a month or so and fell in love with Wolverhampton Wanderers instead.
An awful lot can happen in 12 months in football. Bryan Robson's Baggies stayed up, Hoddle's Wolves never really looked like going up. And, while Albion move ever more menacingly nearer the Premiership trapdoor this time round, Wolves take too many stumbles than is good for them in their bid to swap places.
But, while things may not have gone quite as Hoddle hoped on the park, off the field Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey could not be more happy with him.
"He has an air of confidence about himself, without sticking his chest out," said Moxey. "And he goes about his business in a hugely professional manner.
"The amount of work and effort he put into what was only a six-month job when he first arrived was astonishing. The six-month contract was unusual in this industry and I could understand why there were questions about Glenn's commitment to this club.
"But, right from the beginning, Glenn was putting his reputation on the line. Most want a three or four year deal and, if it doesn't work, they then expect to be paid a huge amount of money to leave. But all Glenn was ever interested in was sorting out the best possible preparations he could have for himself and his players."
The only reason there was any delay in signing his extended contract in May was getting all his many requirements rubber stamped. And, when Wolves move into their impressive new Compton Park complex next month, it will be clear to see just what he spent so much time and effort fighting for.
Hoddle has still had a major input in the fitting out of a purpose-built set-up that will be the envy of their rivals.
"If you have a multi million pound squad," said Moxey, "you have to spend the money supporting it.
"We already had the medical back-up, but we didn't have was the facility. Now we've got that, there's very little for our team to genuinely moan about.
" If you're spending £3 million on Kenny Miller, you ought to have the support staff to look after an asset who's worth £3 million.
"We already had proper doctors, proper physios and our sports psychologist Tim O'Brien. Now we also have a little bit more medical support. A chiropractor, another masseur.
"There's nothing much you can do about some injuries, other than simply wait for them to heal, but anything to eradicate the possibility of a player saying there's no-one there to rub a sore neck.
"I'm only going to do that if I'm convinced the guy who's in charge of that side of things is going to manage it properly. And I am convinced we've got the man."
The same meticulous planning comes across on the pitch and in the dressing room in Hoddle's preparation for matches.
"He wants it organised," said Moxey. "And he understands the need to communicate effectively with the people he's managing.
"Our pre-season schedule was sorted two weeks before the end of last season. And he gets the players to work hard. Video re-runs, double sessions which were unheard of before. And, most of all, he's there."
The most classic illustration of how Hoddle has restored the Wolves hierarchy's faith in the virtues of football managers is in making use of the Pro Zone statistical information system used by other clubs.
"The previous management asked me for it," said Moxey. "But they couldn't convince me they were going to use it properly so I said 'No, I'm not going to do it'.
"Glenn came in and asked me for the same thing but with a full breakdown of how he planned to use it if we supported him. What is more, he's using it exactly how he said he would. And, after a trial run, we've now gone with the full system which will cost us over £100,000."
It's not a case of no expense spared at Molineux. And the fact that he has so far not had to go out and spend wildly on new players reflects well on the Wolves Academy and some of predecessor Dave Jones' better signings.
But, while last Friday night's third successive failure to win in front of their own fans is hopefully just a Molineux hiccup, there remains a complete belief in the boardroom about ' Hoddle's way'.