Kenny Jackett hailed a “fantastic result” as Wolves swept Port Vale aside in the second half to run out 3-1 winners at Vale Park this afternoon.
After a tight opening period, Leigh Griffiths broke the deadlock in the 56th minute, and after Doug Loft headed against the post and Carl Ikeme made an excellent save, Bjorn Sigurdarson and Kevin McDonald finished off further breakaways to put Wolves in control.
Tom Pope did head home an injury time consolation but that didn’t take the gloss off the afternoon’s work for a Wolves side now boasting four successive league wins and with 13 points from the opening five fixtures.
“It was a fantastic result for us against a Port Vale side who have got a lot of momentum after a very successful season last year,” said Jackett.
“We both attacked and defended each other very well but when we got the crucial first goal our play then was vital.
“We defended a lot of crosses into our box and managed to go and get good second and third goals which put us in control.
“David Davis played a key role in front of the back four in front of two strong centre halves.
“Vale Park is never an easy place to come, I have been here many times with different clubs and they put you under a lot of pressure.
“When a team throw a lot of people forward and throw the ball in and have a passionate home crowd behind them you have to both defend well and then counter attack to make use of the spaces.
“They got a high number of crosses in and I am pleased to say we defended very well when we needed to with the two centre halves and goalkeeper doing very well.
“Then our play on the break was good and we played the football required to get the goals that we needed.”
Jackett, who said debutant Scott Golbourne was withdrawn due to a slight back injury, decided to change formation after the switch, and it paid dividends as Wolves improved after the interval.
“I didn’t think we got it right in the first half – I thought we laboured with a lot of long shots and wrong decisions around the box,” added the Head Coach.
“I think we should have made different decisions, instead of shooting maybe taking people on and showing a bit more play and a bit more incision with what we were doing.
“It was all a bit 50-50 between the sides at that stage - I felt we needed to change it and we did.
“The last half an hour of a game is always vital and we got the goals which put us in control.
“It would have been nice to get a clean sheet but to come to Vale Park and win 3-1? We’ll take that.
“With the league game with Walsall called off we knew we wouldn’t be playing next weekend and so it was vital we got a win today because we haven’t got a game for a couple of weeks.”
There was one notable absentee this afternoon with Bakary Sako not among the travelling party following news yesterday of a bid from Nottingham Forest.
Jackett confirmed the winger had said he was not in the right frame of mind to play, but will continue to give his all for the club if he remains at Molineux after the transfer window closes on Monday evening.
“He is aware of the interest from other clubs and was not in the right frame of mind to play today,” said Jackett.
“He didn’t feel he was in the right frame of mind – those are his words and not mine - and I appreciated his honesty.
“But we are not close to any deal and are not really looking to sell him.
“There is some speculation and if it comes at a certain level that’s what happens with every player.
“The window closes at 11pm on Monday but at present there is no bid accepted or close to one.
“We had an offer two days ago from Nottingham Forest which we turned out because it was nowhere near our valuation.
“He has assured me that should things blow over this weekend he is 100 per cent committed to the club as he has been so far because he has played very well.
“I don’t know what will happen in the next few days but we are not in the situation where he is a player we are desperate to sell.”
Jackett was again hugely delighted and encouraged to see a packed away following – a sellout of nearly 4,500 – who were rewarded for their support by a close up of all three Wolves goals.
They were great scenes, but the Head Coach insists the players cannot afford to get carried away despite a very encouraging start to the season.
“It was a fantastic following and drove the boys on again today,” he added.
“To see an end filled like that with an away crowd is a tremendous feeling for someone in my position.
“The support is making a massive difference, motivating the players and giving them excellent encouragement.
“It’s been a good run and 13 points from the first give games does show some promise but we’re certainly not getting carried away.
“It’s a good start and one we need to build on.
“What’s important is that it does show the players they can do it with a long season ahead and many conditions changing.
“It doesn’t guarantee anything but does show optimism and promise but shows a group of players what they are capable of.
“The challenge now is sticking to those standards.”