Kenny Jackett tonight criticised his players for a lack of appetite and desire after Wolves slipped to a home defeat against Milton Keynes Dons.
Goals in each half from on-loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford and Ben Reeves condemned Wolves to back-to-back defeats for the first time this season having lost at Peterborough prior to a fortnight without a fixture.
While Wolves remain in the automatic promotion places three points clear of third-placed Brentford, Jackett has made it clear he expects far more from his team heading into the busy Christmas period.
“It was a disappointing day and a poor performance I didn’t think we showed enough appetite as a team,” said the Head Coach.
“Mk Dons maybe wanted it more than we did and they deserved to win the game.
“They showed a high level of motivation and wanted to get on the ball to make things happen.
“We started both halves sloppily and didn’t show the sort of ability that we have - we need to show appetite and application at all times to make sure that any ability we do have comes through.
“We are looking for more from our players.
“It was a big day for MK Dons coming here and you could see their motivation levels were there and we didn’t match that from start to finish.
“We created a few chances and situations and opportunities which we could have done better with but by our own standards we can do a lot better than that.
“There was a basic lack of desire and enthusiasm today if I’m truthful and the opposition wanted it more than us.
“While I can talk about something not going for us or this decision or that decision we need to do far better as there are higher standards here.
“MK Dons got themselves in good positions but even at 2-0 down I felt it was still there for us if we could just have upped the tempo to our game or found that one goal.
“The crowd stayed with us and in that situation one goal might have just turned it for us.
“We didn’t do that and I felt that we made it relatively comfortable for their back four to handle us.
“We didn’t do enough at any stage of the game to threaten MK Dons.”
Jackett said it was the theme of a lack of appetite that prompted a double half time switch with Leigh Griffiths and Bakary Sako making way for Liam McAlinden and Michael Jacobs.
“I wanted to change things and I didn’t feel they were closing down enough or that their workrate was enough,” he added.
“I felt that Kevin Doyle won a number of headers and got his body in and we didn’t look lively enough off him and around him.
“I felt the changes were needed in a front-line that in the first half was labouring and wanted some fresh impetus.
“I felt they just needed to work harder and show an appetite and a workrate to close down and try and win the ball back and make runs in behind defenders where they can hurt them.
“Also when they go get the ball – and this goes for all the players – to be taking people on and going past them which can frighten defenders.
“It was a gamble but I wanted a response from the players in the second half.
“We didn’t necessarily get that but I wanted to try different combinations with putting Jacobs and McAlinden on who were both fresh.
“It wasn’t down to them individually but the changes didn’t really change the pattern of the game and it was a comfortable day for MK Dons.
“We struggled to create chances and I just felt as a team we lacked appetite and that was the reason we lost.”
Next up for Wolves is a testing trip to in-form Rotherham United on Saturday, at which Jackett will be demanding a positive response to the back-to-back defeats.
“It is a real test for us now,” he said.
“We have to see this as a lesson after losing two games on the trot for the first time this season which is disappointing.
“It is not a nice feeling particularly with our aspirations to do well.
“We go up to Rotherham now for our next game and we have to be ready.
“We also have to realise where we have gone wrong.
“We have had two defeats in a row and we can’t blame anyone else – we have to look at ourselves and make sure we are the ones who put it right over the Christmas period.
“There is a big opportunity with all the games over Christmas to pick up points and that is a chance we are hungry to take.
“We have to make sure we bounce back – we are capable of it and when the games come around we have to show we have got the appetite for it.
“We have to start by competing and playing with a hunger and determination and running to close down and running to make angles.
“It is a competitive division and other teams have a big game against Wolves.
“We have to match that every single week otherwise any ability that we have will not be seen - appetite, hunger and desire are the basics which go before that ability.
“We have to learn our lessons and come out fighting in the next week.”
Kevin McDonald will miss the trip to Rotherham after picking up his fifth booking of the season this afternoon.