Wolves manager Mick McCarthy may have already pencilled in his first choice strikers for the forthcoming Championship campaign but he is delighted that he may now have something of a selection headache.
McCarthy is pinning his hopes for promotion this season on his known entity of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Andy Keogh but is thrilled Chris Iwelumo and Sam Vokes have come in and staked a possible claim for that role during the recent pre-season trip to Scotland.
The pair’s poaching skills in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Kilmarnock was just what the manager ordered with Iwelumo striking twice – once with a free-kick – and Vokes from close range and he now hopes the strikers will provide more of the same whenever they are called upon.
Scottish-born Iwelumo joined Wolves from Charlton, while Vokes arrived from Bournemouth and both are now making a real impression on the boss.
McCarthy said: “That’s just what I’ve been asking for. Chris was lively and I certainly know now what he brings to the party and that’s what he showed.
“He scored one from a free kick after good delivery from Micky Gray and the other one was an example of something we’ve been banging on at our strikers to do for I don’t know how long – getting across the near post or the keeper.
“He did it but that’s why there have been changes in that department because I want centre forwards that get in the box, get across the keeper and attack the far post and he does it.”
Ebanks-Blake and Keogh have been given the box seat because of the way they linked up during the second half of the last campaign but the manager now knows he has at least two other strikers prepared to gatecrash the party.
He said: “Both Chris and Sam want to score goals and now I know we’ve got four good strikers. Sylvan and Andy have been a really good partnership but these two have given me something to think about.
“All the positions are up for grabs and they are all working hard because they want to get in the team.”
McCarthy meanwhile has bid farewell to midfielder Seyi Olofinjana who moved to join Premier League new-boys Stoke City in a £3?million switch over the weekend.
The big Nigerian had slapped in a transfer request a few weeks ago leaving McCarthy in no doubt he would lose his services.
McCarthy said: “Seyi has been fantastic to work with and a really good player. He is a terrific signing for Stoke and I wish him well.”
Stoke manager Tony Pulis was certainly delighted with his acquisition. He said: “Seyi is great for this football club, and I am delighted he chose to join us ahead of several other top flight clubs.
“He is a player we think will enhance the squad and again it shows our ambitions to be competitive in the Premier League.”
Olofinjana joined Wolves from Norwegian side SK Brann for £1.7m in July 2004 having begun his professional career at Kwara United back in his homeland.