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Wolves can challenge for top six – Sinton

Andy Sinton believes Wolves could challenge for a top-six spot this season – after recalling the dark days when playing at Molineux in front of 3,400.
The former Tottenham and England winger is now an ambassador for Championship club QPR, one of his old teams. But the 53-year-old, who made 82 appearances in gold and black from 1999-2002, retains a huge fondness for Wolves and reckons after last season’s seventh-placed finish, they can challenge the elite.
“I see no reason why not. In my view the Premier League is split into three leagues, but they’re in the mini league that could challenge for the top six,” said Sinton, speaking to wolvesbite.com. “There are the top four or five who are going to challenge for everything, then there’s that next clutch of teams and I’d put Wolves in that, then there are the teams who are just playing to survive.
“In that year when they won the Championship, we actually beat them 2-1 at QPR after being a goal down – big Matt Smith came on and scored with a header. But at Molineux for an hour, they were exceptional. They went 2-0 up and were toying with us to a degree. We got a goal back and made it an uncomfortable last 20 minutes because goals change games.”
Sinton isn’t taken aback by the rise of his former club after predicting a top-10 finish for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side last season. “It doesn’t surprise me how well they’ve done and it wouldn’t surprise me, with the investment they have got, if they keep progressing,” he said. “That next gap is going to be tough to bridge, but for them, that has to be the aim.
“I remember watching them play QPR a couple of years ago and they were easily the best team in our league. A lot of people said to me they were surprised at how Wolves did last year; it didn’t come as any surprise to me at all. I thought they had a really good side. I remember saying to someone they will finish in the top 10, on what they had when they came out of the Championship.
“The manager has done brilliantly; he gets them playing in a certain way, he’s made useful additions, so as a former player, I’m delighted to see them doing well. They’re a good side, a good club and long may that continue.”
Geordie Sinton, who had an amazing 22-year League career starting with Cambridge, before joining Brentford – where he was twice voted player of the year after appearing for the Bees in a 4-1 win at Molineux in front of 3,420 in January 1986 – admits he couldn’t have envisaged how Wolves have moved on since then, and when he played under Colin Lee and Dave Jones.
“Probably not, because of the influx of foreign players and the money that has come into the game,” he said. “When I was there, Sir Jack was the owner and he did wonders for that football club. The aim was to get back into the big time. In my time we fell short. They got up under Dave Jones, brilliantly beating Sheffield United 3-0 in the play-off final. But I loved my time there. Could I see where they are now? No, not at the time. But as an ex-player with an affinity to Wolves having enjoyed my time there, I am delighted to see them doing so well. And I’m delighted for the fans because they are terrific.”
But Sinton, who finished his League career at Burton Albion after leaving Molineux, always believed Wolves had the right foundations to reclaim their place in the top flight. “I always thought the potential was there for them as a club to push on, with infrastructure, the ground, the fanbase, the history – it’s a Premier League club,” he said. “But you’ve got no divine right to be there. Wolves went through some horrendous times – I remember playing there for Brentford years ago (1985-86) and there were 3,400 people at Molineux, so to see where they were to where they are now is quite an amazing story. Hopefully that can continue and hopefully they can keep pushing on. I’m pleased for everyone at the club.”
Sinton was signed by Colin Lee and in his time, they fell short of reaching the Premier League, finishing seventh, 12th, then third under Jones, only to painfully fail in the play-offs when they were pipped to automatic promotion by a late run by arch rivals Albion. “I had three great years at Wolves, certainly the first two when I was playing more,” said Sinton. “It’s a great stadium with great fans and it’s steeped in history. The club deserves to be where it is now.”