Walter Zenga is ready and excited to get the new season – and his new job at Wolves – off and running at Rotherham tomorrow (3pm).
The Head Coach has only had a week to work with his players after being appointed last Saturday, but has enjoyed a “satisfying” few days of training before the Sky Bet Championship curtain-raiser at the New York Stadium.
“The first week has been nice,” says Zenga.
“We have worked very hard and the players have helped me – it has been very satisfying.
“The players have given their all in training, the technical staff have been great, and the new players have settled in and been given a warm welcome.
“I have to work in the right way to tell them what is my mentality about the football and don’t impose but propose and share with them what I have in my mind.
“I will be concentrating on the game on Saturday, I am excited, but not nervous.
“Nervous is not the right word because if I feel like that I will pass that on to the players.
“I am excited and proud to be here.
“I am 56 years old and I love to watch football.
“I have watched a lot of games in England and the Championship and I wanted to come here.
“In my opinion it is like the Premier League this season when you look at the teams in it like Newcastle, Norwich, Fulham – it is fantastic.”
Wolves have brought in four players over the last week – winger Helder Costa, striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, defender Silvio and midfielder Joao Teixeira.
One of them could yet become the club’s 1000th league player if selected tomorrow, but Zenga is understandably keeping his cards close to his chest in terms of selection.
Not least a Wolvers face a glut of fixtures over the first month of the season, when he will want as large a squad available as possible.
“Players have come in from different countries and different mentalities and have to understand the style,” Zenga explains.
“Some may have had more training or less training.
“Bodvarsson for example is joining us and he may be more ready because of his style.
“He is a striker who played in the Euros with great results and put in some very impressive performances.
“Silvio from Benfica, is a very strong player with a good attitude and experience and Helder Costa is a younger player with a big talent.
“Teixiera is a also midfielder with quality.
“We will see who will be ready and we also have to think it is not just this game.
“We are setting off on a long season, a marathon.
“In August we play almost every three days and we need everybody – everybody will be involved in this project.
“It is Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday, this is what happens in the Championship and it is important to have all the players available and in good shape.
“The more chance we have to alternate them is the best chance, because 46 league games is a lot of games.
“All the players that come on the bus will be ready and I will see what the starting eleven will be on Saturday.
“The 18 players who are named in the squad will be ready to give their 200 per cent!
“I have an idea of what team I want to play but that is only really decided after the final training.”
Dominic Iorfa and Joe Mason are both back in training and in with a chance of being available for tomorrow.
Zenga has been well briefed on the challenges to expect from a Rotherham side also boasting a new man at the helm in Alan Stubbs.
“The scouts here work hard and have given me a lot of information about Rotherham,” he said.
“Our players know their players as well, and we all have to help each other.
“I know that they have a new coach who has come from Hibernian and is a good coach.
“And they have a couple of interesting strikers.
“You have to think about the opponent and plan for them but you have to think about yourselves and the personality and style of your own team as well.
“You have to respect the opposition but not be afraid - every team has a weak point somewhere.”
Wolves will be backed by a sellout away following of 2,300, which is appreciated by Zenga ahead of his first taste of coaching in English football.
“It is amazing to see so many fans following us and this must give us more power to make more effort,” he said.
“We want to give the fans a lot of satisfaction.”
*As mentioned Wolves have SOLD OUT of their allocation for tomorrow’s game, and fans without tickets are urged not to travel to the stadium.