Just how a team which managed to beat Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City still finished fighting for their lives on the final day of the season was one of the mysteries of the last campaign.
What was less mysterious for Wolves, as they approached this term, was that better results were needed against those sides expected to be struggling around them. They only picked up seven points in 12 games against the fellow members of last year's bottom seven so to start with three against a team likely to be brushing up against them again this season is a good opening.
"It's a great start. To come to a place like Blackburn and pick up all three points is enormous," captain Roger Johnson said, after a superb individual and team performance. "Look back on this kind of result after Christmas and it might well be seen as key. We deserved all three points as well."
Victory was all the sweeter for Wolves after they were forced to come from behind following a bright start from Blackburn, whose injury-hit side seemed invigorated by the energy of lone striker Jason Roberts. They were without Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen but Roberts set up the Argentine debutant Mauro Formica to score. But Wolves fought back and striker Kevin Doyle was keen to stress this is a different Wolves outfit this year. "We worked our socks off," he said. "We do not give up."
While Mick McCarthy could relish the win, his Blackburn counterpart was already feeling the pressure as he urged Rovers' owners to spend. "We have lost 11 players and got three in," said Steve Kean. "We need at two centre-halfs, a midfielder and a striker so that is four at least. We need to make sure we have a competitive squad within budget."Reuse content