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Old Gold

Dream Team




Mark McGeeManager from December 1995 - December 1998

The termination of Mark McGhee's contract brought an end to an eventful three year association with Wolves. Twice he was within grasp of glory, but the chief priority of promotion never happened. McGhee arrived at Molineux in December, 1995. His first game in charge at Molineux came nine days before Christmas of that year with Wolves close to the bottom of the table following the departure of Graham Taylor. That first match, which was against Port Vale, ended in defeat and, by the end of the campaign, the club finished just five places off the bottom and three points above a relegation spot. However, there were good performances in the Coca Cola Cup and FA Cup and the manager began to bring in new faces. He paid 1.1 million for Steve Corica from Leicester, and 900,000 for Simon Osborn from Queens Park Rangers. For the new campaign McGhee introduced former England defender Keith Curle from Manchester City, striker Iwan Roberts from Norwich City and Welsh defender Adrian Williams from another of his former clubs, Reading.

The 1996/97 season was one in which McGhee and his team were cursed with the worst of luck of Curle and Williams injured before a ball had been kicked. Curle didn't make a first team appearance until the New Year. Williams managed just eight games after recovering from cruciate knee damage. Others to befall a simular fate as Williams included Michael Gilkes and Steve Corica, and Dean Richards missed half the season with knee trouble too. Several other serious injuries meant that the manager kept having to shuffle his pack of cards. And his problems were further compounded by some controversial refereeing decisions that went against Wolves - notably at Oldham and Bradford. At the end of it all, Wolves finished five points short of automatic promotion and they bowed out of the play offs after a narrow 4-3 aggregate defeat against Crystal Palace.

In 1997/98, the League campaign turned out to be a disappointing one. But there was an excellent run in the FA Cup which saw Premiership teams Wimbledon and Leeds fall by the wayside. The hurdle of Arsenal in the semi-final, however, was too big for the Molineux side. This seasson Wolves got off to a flier winning their first four League games without conceding a goal. But then the injury voodoo struck again and, within days, McGhee was robbed of one of the most lethal strikeforces in the country - Steve Bull and Robbie Keane. And their was the hammer blow of losing Steve Froggatt to Coventry City when the former Villa man was at his best. The goal supply dried up and a run that saw just two victories in 12 League games, coupled with a Worthingtons Cup exit at the hands of Second Division Bournemouth, bought the situation to a head. A scan through the account books on McGhee's ventures into the transfer market, show just around a million pounds on the debit side. And, in the 156 League and Cup games that have taken place during his time in charge, 64 have been won, 38 drawn, and 54 lost.