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Gray: Wolves have rewritten the script for promoted clubs

Former Wolves winger Michael Gray believes Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have rewritten the expectations for promoted clubs and reckons his old club are only going to get better.
Last season Wolves were in the Championship with Fulham, who have been relegated despite spending £100m, and Cardiff, who are five points adrift of the safety line and look like joining the Cottagers.
“You look at some of the sides who have been promoted and their main priority is to finish fourth from bottom,” said Gray.
“Wolves haven’t thought that way throughout the whole of the season. They have taken the game to every team they have played – and top-six sides as well – and matched them for football, and matched them in a lot of the games; their record is absolutely fantastic.”
The 44-year-old ex-left-sided player has been highly impressed with the impact Nuno’s side have had on the Premier League this season.
Wolves have gone out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage and slipped up in the Premier League with a 3-1 defeat at Southampton in their last two games, but are still eighth on goal difference and on course to be the highest finishing promoted club since Ipswich ended up fifth in 2000-01.
Gray, who made 47 appearances under Mick McCarthy from 2007-09, believes the recent setbacks should not detract from the bigger picture.
“They’ve had a fantastic season. I said at the start of the season that they would finish in the top half of the table and I think that’s going to happen,” Gray told talkSPORT.
“They’re still chasing that seventh position and they lost Watford in the semi-final where they had one foot in the final to be honest until the penalty, but they have been excellent.
“Nuno has had wonderful backing from the agent Jorge Mendes and he’s been able to bring in some top class players.
“But the players who have come into the club have settled in really well. They have a way of playing, a style of football that they play which everybody seems to be enjoying at my old club, and they’re only going to get better.
“Raul Jimenez has just signed a permanent deal that will keep him at the club for the next four years, and who is to say they’re not going to bring in another two or three quality players in the summer?
“Everyone is onside at that football club and they’re going to get even better.”
Wolves host relegation-threatened Brighton this Saturday before going to Watford, then a home game against relegated Fulham prior to travelling to Liverpool in their final game of the season.
Gray believes any opponent facing Wolves now will under-estimate them at their peril.
“This Wolves team – don’t take them lightly,” said the former England international. “You look at some of the results they have had this season and they have been absolutely outstanding.
“They’ve got goalscorers, they’re organised at the back, they’re hard to beat and hard to break down.”
Wolves have gone to Marbella for a few days’ warm weather training this week before returning on Thursday in the countdown to the visit of Chris Hughton’s Seagulls, who entertain Cardiff tomorrow night.
Gray believes Wolves will get over their heartbreaking Cup exit at Wembley to Watford and is convinced they can reflect on an excellent campaign.
“It’s obviously disappointing because they wanted to get to the final and pick up the trophy and they were very close to getting there,” he said.
“Unfortunately it didn’t happen for them. But you pick yourself up. What were the expectations of that club for this season? Was it to get to an FA Cup semi-final? Was it to finish seventh in the Premier League?
“They have done hardly anything wrong, they have been absolutely outstanding to watch on the eye and a real breath of fresh air in the Premier League.”!
Fulham and Huddersfield have already been relegated and Cardiff, who are five points adrift of safety, look like joining them.”