Mick McCarthy has revealed his "immense pride" after Wolves guaranteed Barclays Premier League survival on Sunday without kicking a ball.
Wolves' future in the top flight was secured for another campaign after Burnley were beaten 4-0 at home by Liverpool. A run of 10 points from the last seven games - and just one defeat - ensured Wolves did not make an instant return to the Coca-Cola Championship.
"I've always had a sense that we could finish above three other teams," said McCarthy, whose side fought to a 1-1 draw with Blackburn on Saturday.
"I am immensely proud of the way the players have gone about things because of the way they have played and competed, the way they have gone about their jobs.
"Everyone has put a right shift in and the pride I feel can only be outwardly shown now a little bit more now that we are staying in the league.
"Even when we've been beaten, I've not come away and thought 'I don't admire the lads' because they've been terrific in getting us into the Premier League and competing to stay in it."
McCarthy believes his squad have improved as the season has progressed despite containing little Premier League experience.
He said: "You have got to improve if you are in it, physically, technically, mentally, emotionally, all of those things you actually get better at.
"We have done that. We came into the season with little Premier League experience. People like Marcus Hahnemann and Kevin Doyle at Reading and David Jones a bit at Derby had it but no-one else really.
"They have got better, they have matured, they believe in themselves and believe they can play in the Premier League and not just be hanging on for survival."