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Ricketts ready for Wolves reunion having experienced memorable success

Ricketts ready for Wolves reunion having experienced memorable success
© Reuters
Ricketts made 51 appearances for Wolves during a two-year spell at Molineux.

Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts believes he saw the rebirth of Wolves but is determined to halt them in their tracks.

The 37-year-old captained Wolves to the Sky Bet League One title in 2014 as they bounced back from successive relegations from the Premier League.

Wolves were bought by Fosun in 2016 and are now eighth in the top flight having spent spent £80million in the summer after winning the Sky Bet Championship last season.

Now, Ricketts hosts his old club in the FA Cup fourth round and feels he saw the start of something special.

"I cancelled my contract at Bolton at the start of what Wolves is now really," said the former defender, who made 51 appearances for the Molineux club.

"I was made club captain on my first day, to captain the side and get a record points total was a great a personal achievement and the basis I think of where you see Wolves nowadays.

"They are a million miles away from where we were then, but it was the start of the club coming together because momentum is the biggest thing in football and that was the start of building momentum off the pitch and on.

"I went back last year, working in the academy, so I know an awful lot of people there. It's a different owner, different manager, different ideas but the heart of the club is still there and that's what the Chinese have done pretty well.

"They have spent money but not been frivolous. They've tried to keep that feel without just blowing everything apart and saying we are going to throw £100 or £200 million at it without being conscientious with it."

Ricketts is in his first season as a manager having left Wrexham in December to join Shrewsbury.

He also served a brief apprenticeship under Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo while he worked at the club's academy last season but is keen to get one over on his opposite number.

"Nuno came in with all his staff and because my standing at the club, I wasn't really inhibited by it," said the former Wales international.

"He was very open, he said 'these are my ideas, there is no secret to it but have your own beliefs and principles' and that's what I've done.

"Nuno wants to play his way and he has done it fantastically well but he has gone and got some amazing players to do it.

"I'm not asking any player to kick anyone but in the Premier League people do stand off a little bit. Let's see if they can handle it in tight areas with players nipping around their ankles a little bit."

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