Ryan Bennett admits Wolves’ summer signings have taken the team to another level.
Since Wolves romped to the Championship title last season, Rui Patricio, Jonny Castro Otto, Leander Dendoncker, Joao Moutinho, Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore have been added to the squad at a cost of around £71m.
Wolves are hoping to turn Jimenez’s loan from Benfica into a £30m permanent signing and become a new club record capture, eclipsing the £18m they paid for Traore and Jonny.
The significant investment looks money well spent though, with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side seventh in the Premier League and into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and all but Traore regular starters.
Bennett has been a mainstay throughout the last two seasons and says the new arrivals have made the difference.
“It’s difficult. The Championship went so well for us. Stepping up, we had ideas,” said the 29-year-old defender.
“We have players with the ability to push on and do what we have done this year.
“To transition that quickly and put ideas on top of what we did last year was always going to be difficult, but the lads that have come in have taken us on another step.
“All the lads have embraced the extra ideas. It’s been building on top of what we did last year and the success is there for everyone to see.”
Bennett himself was expected to make way in defence as Nuno planned to play Romain Saiss as his right-sided centre back alongside Conor Coady and Willy Boly.
But the former Norwich man’s superb form and consistency have ensured he has remained in the side, instead meaning Saiss and initially Dendoncker, who can also play that position, were out of the side.
“When I first came in it was in difficult circumstances, the managers changed,” said Bennett.
“When I came in I didn’t play straight away, so I had to be patient. That’s football.
“You keep working. Fortunately, I got the chance and it’s gone on from there.”
Bennett says individual one-to-one briefings from staff in training have helped him become the fittest he has ever been.
“There are certain things, playing in a back three benefits me, there are changes in the attention to detail with each player – that’s something I’ve not really had before,” he said.
“The condition I’m in now is probably the best I’ve ever been, that (preparation) does play a part.”
“Every little thing makes a difference. Everyone here has embraced everything we do here.
“Lots of little things combine to become one big thing. That helps massively.
“Throughout the club, whether it be nutritional, we’ve got Julio (Figueroa, first0team coach) who comes in and talks to you mentally, and sees things you probably don’t see.
“We’ve got the nutritionist, Antonio (Dias, fitness coach) and Joao (Lapa, first-team coach) on pre-training routines, and there’s stuff I’ve never done before.”