Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy believes he now has the squad he that can achieve promotion to the Premier League.
The Wolves boss believes he now has an idea of the players who will spearhead his assault on the Coca-Cola Championship this season but admits he has not ruled out buying other players should anyone become available who he feels will be a valuable addition to his squad.
McCarthy, whose team beat Blackburn 4-2 at Molineux on Saturday, said: “I am well aware of the challenges this season and while the Premier League is where we all want to be, this league is far more entertaining in terms of who will win it.
“It is a very competitive league with six clubs with parachute payments and some good clubs having been promoted in Doncaster,, Swansea and Nottingham Forest.
“Who would have bet at the start of last season that Hull and Stoke City would be promoted at the end of the season?”
McCarthy feels his preparations for the forthcoming campaign, which kicks off on Saturday, have gone well with the best pre-season preparations since he arrived at Molineux more thna two years ago.
He said: “I am delighted with the squad we have got going into the season. If another player comes available before the end of the transfer window that we think will improve what we have got, then we will do something.
“We have had a very good trip to Scotland and I have been delighted with the players and the way everything has gone. The games have been very competitive and we have played some decent football.”
He added: “Now the players have returned to training 75 per cent fit and our fitness coach Tony Daley is getting them in good shape.
“We have had very few injuries and that is part of the preparation. What is also pleasing, however, is that many of our players have now had 12 months at this level. Matt Jarvis was injured at this stage last year but he has a number of games under his belt now and Stephen Ward is now playing and Dave Edwards too.
“I am delighted we have kept the team together. The players know they are at a fantastic club and they will have to go a long way to find a better set of supporters, facilities and a stadium.”
Chris Iwelumo caught the eye with a fine display in the 4-2 defeat of Blackburn.
Andy Keogh and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake look likely to begin the season as the men in possession up front but Iwelumo, the former Charlton and Stoke striker, impressed McCarthy by scoring a penalty and having a goal disallowed after replacing the injured Ebanks-Blake.
“Chris has scored 45 goals in the past thre years and although some of them have been penalties, we know the trouble we’ve had scoring from penalties,” McCarthy said.
Wolves twice led in the first half through George Elokobi and Keogh, only for Matt Derbyshire and Roque Santa Cruz to pull Paul Ince’s men level.
Wolves wrapped up the win when Iwelumo netted from 12 yards after former Birmingham City man David Dunn blocked Elokobi’s run, before Matt Jarvis ran through unchallenged to score 15 minutes from time.