Craddock expects tougher campaign

Published Jun. 8, 2010 4:41 a.m. ET

The Midlands club spent last term in the top flight after enjoying promotion from the Championship in 2009 and went on to finish 15th in the standings. But 34-year-old defender Craddock, who was relegated from the Premier League with Sunderland in 2003, has warned his side not to take anything for granted. "I spent four seasons with Sunderland in the Premier League," Craddock told the Birmingham Mail. "The first two were fantastic when we finished seventh twice and then we started to drop off. It is tough to stay in there, it will be as tough as this year and anyone thinking it is going to be easier because we've been in there for a year will be mistaken. "We'll have to work just as hard as we did last season, if not harder, to stay in it. "We don't want to be scrapping down the bottom and being in and about the relegation zone. "There's every chance we could be but ideally we want to be above that and be safe all season long." Craddock, who penned a new one-year deal at the Molineux last week, admits competition for first-team places is fierce, and is determined to enter next season fit and ready to play. "We all want the squad to get better because we all want to stay in the Premier League for another year," he said. "Like everyone here I'll still want to play and all I can do is concentrate on my own game. That means keeping myself right, looking after myself in the off-season and coming through pre-season hopefully injury-free. "That's what I'll be doing to try and keep my place because I know if I don't play well I won't be in the team, simple as that."