Loftus Road boss is now envious of Molineux success.
Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock claims Wolves boss Mick McCarthy used to clean his boots but is now envious of his former apprentice.
Warnock was a winger at Barnsley in the 1970s when McCarthy was coming through the youth ranks as a no-nonsense centre-back.
The pair have crossed swords as managers before but never in the Premier League.
Warnock has forged his reputation as a promotion specialist in the lower leagues but is enjoying only his second top-flight season, while McCarthy is becoming a Premier League regular.
The QPR boss admitted he looked on “with envy” at what McCarthy has achieved at Wolves, who the 52-year-old has twice taken into the Premier League.
“He used to clean my boots when I was a kid,” said Warnock. “He denies it but he was an apprentice at Barnsley with me.
“He was a massive lad in those days. I’ve never seen anything like it. He was like a brick… you can’t say that on the television, can you?
“But he was built very, very big and sturdy in those days.”
Warnock admits Wolves are “18 months in front of” his QPR side, who won last year’s Championship.
“They’ve had to go through a similar situation that we’re going through,” he added. “Mick’s moved on a level now and bought top players, I think, your (Kevin) Doyles and that.
“We’re not anywhere near that level yet but that’s where we want to be, where Wolves are, that next step up.”