The signing of centre-back Richard Stearman from Leicester has not phased Wolves defender Jody Craddock.
Stearman’s arrival will mean more competition for the two centre-back berths but Craddock has vowed to fight for a regular place; it is a fight he knows well.
Last season, Craddock’s future looked in doubt when he lost his place and went out on loan to Stoke City, but he was called back a month later and went on to establish himself in Mick McCarthy’s starting line-up.
The club took up a one-year option on his contract at the end of last season and the 32-year-old from Redditch is determined to cement himself at the heart of the Molineux defence. He has even targetted regaining the captaincy, which he lost last season after being given at the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
“I want to play football and be in the team,” he said. “Playing is important to me - I’m a footballer and I want to be playing. I’m never happy in the reserves and I was made up at getting the extra year. That was my goal, I got that, now I want to play regularly again this season.”
“It’s up to me - I know I need to be playing well to be in the team. I understand that, it’s the same every season and we’ll see how it goes.
“If I was asked to be captain, I’d love to be captain,” he added. “If I’m not, then I’m happy just to be a part of the team.
“Sometimes the older players can take it in their stride and I don’t feel as if the added responsibility affects me. If anything, it can bring your game on a bit and when you get to my age, you’re just trying to play consistently every week..
“I think responsibility sits easier as you get older - you learn to cope with the pressures and the outcomes better - it’s one advantage of being older!”