JODY CRADDOCK believes Wolves should expect to secure a top-half finish in their first Premier League season after a six-year absence from the top flight.
Wolves blew the Championship away last season and have fared far better than their fellow promoted sides Cardiff and Fulham who are both in real relegation danger.
Getty Images – Getty9 Former Wolves captain Jody Craddock believes Wolves should expect a top-half finish
AFP or licensors9 Wolves are enjoying their first season back in the Premier League after a six-year absence
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are currently 12th, four points behind Everton in sixth but ten clear of the drop zone and travel to Newcastle on Sunday.
Speaking to SunSport, former captain Craddock, 43, said: “They should be looking at top ten and I don't think that's out of the ordinary to be thinking that based on the performances they've had and the way they've set out at the start of the season.
“I think they've done fantastic, playing some really exciting football. They look like they can score goals and they do score goals.
“They should be really proud of what they've achieved so far. There's a buzz around the city, the fans are excited.”
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Reuters9 Nuno Espirito Santo replaced Paul Lambert in May 2017 and has been incredibly successful
AFP or licensors9 His side managed draws against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal
PA:Press Association9 Recent defeats against Watford, Brighton and Huddersfield have taken the shine off somewhat
Wolves drew against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal and were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Tottenham.
But recent defeats to Brighton, Huddersfield and then Cardiff last weekend had taken some of the shine off their season before Wednesday's shock win over Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea.
Craddock – who made 189 Premier League appearances – added: “They're playing against these teams which are brilliant, they're in the Champions League, and it's what Wolverhampton as a town needed.
“Credit to them, they're more than holding their own and proving that's where they should be and that's where they should stay.”
Jody Craddock: Former Wolves captain who became an artist and is now teaching his son the tricks of the trade
By JOSHUA JONES
JODY CRADDOCK is not like most footballers. Some go into coaching when they retire, others into punditry. Most stay in the game.
But Craddock did not retire when he hung up his boots in 2013, he simply had a career change. Now he’s a full-time artist. And a teacher.
After a few years of doing it solo, he has taken under his wing an understudy, an apprentice – his son Joseph.
Speaking exclusively to SunSport, the pair explained how it all works.
Former Wolves captain Jody, 43, said: “We have a good laugh, it's not all serious. It's not like a lesson – we stick the TV on. It's really good bonding time especially for me as they get to the age where they're on computers and have all this rubbish going on.
“So it's nice for us to sit for two or three hours in an evening, have a joke and do a bit of painting.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE
Getty Images – Getty9 Craddock lifted the Championship trophy in May 2009
PA:Press Association9 Mick McCarthy was the manager who led Wolves back into the top flight
Before Danny Batth in 2017/18, Craddock was the last Wolves captain to lead his side to a successful promotion into the Premier League.
That came ten seasons ago as Wolves, under Mick McCarthy, won the Championship by seven points ahead of rivals Birmingham City.
Craddock was still involved last season, though, producing the artwork for each matchday programme at Molineux including special editions for Carl Ikeme and to celebrate promotion.
He said: "They asked me a few years ago but I was still playing at that point and I just didn't have the ideas or the time to do 23 programmes.
Dave Pinegar – The Sun9 Craddock produced all of the matchday programmes for Wolves' home games last season
PA:Empics Sport9 Conor Coady and Danny Batth lifted the trophy together at the end of last season
"They were great fun, I loved doing them. It was nice to be part of the Wolves and doing it for such a momentous achievement getting promotion.
"It was nice to play a small part, not on the field but off the field."