Kenny Jackett tonight reflected on a “big frustration” of defeat at Crawley after acknowledging that Wolves failed to adapt to the challenged posed on a disappointing night in Sussex.
Having taken the lead in the 24th minute through James Henry, seven minutes later Wolves found themselves 2-1 behind thanks to Billy Clarke and Matt Tubbs, and from there they were unable to find a way back as their ten-match unbeaten run came to an end.
The hosts were good value for their three points, with Jackett accepting Wolves just didn’t adapt to the conditions and also made some uncharacteristic defensive mistakes.
“I didn’t think we adapted tonight – we tried many things and just didn’t adapt,” said the frustrated Head Coach.
“We did get the crucial first goal as well which so often is the big one in a game.
“But both goals against us were poor from our point of view defensively.
“That was disappointing and uncharacteristic from us - you can’t keep out everything but we know that conceding zeroes and ones get you what you need.
“It was very hard for us to get our game going and it bypassed us I thought.
“Crawley played the conditions much better than us and adapted to it much better and we didn’t learn from it.
“They repeatedly put the ball in behind us and we got caught a number of times on the ball in our own half.
“It made our usual game difficult tonight and we just didn’t adapt and allowed Crawley the chance to break off our bad play.”
Jackett made a first half substitution by replacing Michael Jacobs with Leon Clarke, as Wolves switched to 4-4-2 in a bid to improve their performance having struggled in opening third of the game.
“We changed it a couple of times during the game,” Jackett added.
“I felt we needed two up front and that physical presence and we had a great chance straightaway when James Henry followed up Leon Clarke’s flick which came back off the keeper and he put it over the bar.
“As the second half wore on it was very difficult for us to create anything and to get the ball wide and in behind.
“The game generally then passed us by and that is a big frustration, particularly when it is one of the games that we have in hand.
“We had a lot of the ball around the halfway line but found it difficult to find our usual passing and passing range.
“We didn’t move the ball as we usually do – it didn’t flow through our midfield and that made it a tough night for us.”
Wolves stay top of Sky Bet League One, but with only a one point advantage over second placed Brentford having played a game more.
The gap to third placed Leyton Orient is three points, and in this case Wolves have a game in hand, with Jackett believing the promotion prize is still there to be grabbed.
“We know how high the pace is and we are disappointed to lose tonight,” he said.
“We have to earn everything we get in this division – no one is ever going to give you anything.
“We didn’t do enough tonight, we didn’t create enough chances and it was difficult for our flair players to go past people, for the ball to settle, to be able to get crosses and shots and the final ball in.
“And we’ve talked a lot about different ways and adapting and making sure we learn from this defeat.
“It wasn’t necessarily our worst performance of the season but was a very disappointing result.
“There are many different games that come at you during the course of the year and this was different halfway through March with the conditions and the way the ball played.
“We just didn’t adapt well enough to be able to do it.
“Now we move on to a very good game with Sheffield United on Saturday.
“They are coming thick and fast and that is a positive for us that we can look forward straightaway.
“I thought at times our shoulders slumped and we got frustrated and that’s not the way to go either in terms of being a goal behind for such a long period of the game.
“It’s too early now to be thinking about changes but I will assess the squad - we’ve got some travelling to do and then another big game on Saturday.”