Boss Ståle Solbakken tonight expressed the hope that the hard-fought derby win against Birmingham put a few issues to bed as Wolves chalked up back-to-back victories.
A first home win in seven, first clean sheet in 11 and excellent second half display made for a professional afternoon’s work as Marlon King’s first half own goal from Bakary Sako’s deadly free kick proved the difference between the two sides.
After no win in nine, it is now two consecutive victories following the success at Bristol City, leaving Wolves in positive spirits heading into tough away trips to Middlesbrough and Blackpool.
“We have been in front in the last four home games and not been able to win any of them and that has been very frustrating,” said Solbakken.
“And a lot of strange things have happened in those games as well.
“It was important for us to win at home in front of the fans who were fantastic today and also in a local derby.
“It’s three points and a clean sheet and a derby win so a good evening and hopefully a lot was put to bed.
“It was important in many aspects.”
Solbakken continued: “Football is about winning games and we have got two in succession now which is important.
“It was a brilliant second half but in the first half it was a little bit nervous.
“History got to us maybe a little bit with what has happened and we talked about that before the game.
“There were some technical mistakes and we struggled with the rhythm and didn’t get Sako and Sigurdarson into the game but as soon as we got the goal it got gradually better.
“It could have gone both ways in the first half but in the second we should have had two or three goals.
“We have had that feeling before of leading 1-0 and having two, three, four or five big chances and then a goal doesn’t come and you can concede from a corner or a deflection or whatever.
“We haven’t succeeded at keeping the lead in the last three or four home games when we have been in front so it was important to get three points and was a psychological thing as well.
“I didn’t feel fortunate that we went in at half time ahead.
“Birmingham were certainly more confident on the ball but they didn’t have more than one or two chances.
“They were a bit better than us in open play but created very few chances.
“And in the second half we played very well.”
While pleased with the clean sheet the boss believes a lack of goals before last weekend has played an equal part in the recent run of poor results.
“It’s not that we’ve conceded a lot but we have had difficulty in scoring as well,” he added.
“That has also been part of the cause.
“We have had some decent games in the bad spell but we were not able to score in games when we had good chances.
“That was the same today when we should have killed the game off.
“But rather than criticise the players for that we should be praising them for their performance especially in the second half.
“Credit to the lads for keeping the tempo up and moving the ball around and being direct when we should be direct and keeping the ball when we needed to keep the ball.”
Sako was once again a key influence, not only setting up King’s own goal but also producing an exhilarating second half display to set up plenty of chances and also go close.
The boss revealed he had asked Sako to step up his efforts after the first period, whilst also asking the team to keep up the tempo as they went out ahead for the second half.
“With that left foot we know what he can do,” Solbakken says of Sako.
“I don’t need to tell him what to do – he knows best!
“It is a good weapon for us and he has shown that many times in the season.
“He shows he can surprise with his left foot and it was difficult to keep it out.
“We talked about starting the second half with a high tempo.
“We finished the first half better and without as many technical mistakes.
“We struggled down the left hand side defensively in the first half and the played through us very easily.
“I said to Sako after the game that the game started at 5.20 and he started half an hour afterwards!
“And then in the second half he destroyed them.
“The way Sako mixes it now is better.
“I have told him many times than me and him are in a different country now and sometimes he has to go at the full back even when he doesn’t feel it is right for him.
“Sometimes he might want to play it around through Karl Henry and then get it back and go but it is not sometimes sure he can get it back then.
“He went at them in the second half – maybe that was down to him resting in the first half an hour!”