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Batth Attack

PUBLISHED

09:33 11th February 2013

O'Hara praise for goalscorer


Jamie O'Hara has praised Danny Batth after the young defender marked his full home debut with a late equaliser against Leeds United on Saturday.

Wolves looked to be heading for a third consecutive defeat before the 22 year-old headed home O'Hara's cross deep into injury time to rescue a deserved point for Dean Saunders' side.

The former Tottenham midfielder now believes that Batth, who has started the last two games in place of the suspended Roger Johnson, could prove to be a key member of the team as Wolves battle to avoid a second relegation in two seasons.

"He's played a lot of football," O'Hara says of Batth, who spent the last campaign on loan at Sheffield Wednesday. "I said to him last season that I didn't think he was ready, but this season he's really improved and he looks a player.

"I've been looking forward to him getting in the team to be honest. Last week I though he did really well (against Leicester) and this week he's put in a good performance again."

"He looks fantastic from corners - he always looks like he's going to score. He'll give us goals - he had a couple of free headers against Leeds and he was disappointed that he didn't score from those, but he's stepped up to the mark at the end with a fantastic header to get us a point."

Despite seeing their winless run extend to eight games, O'Hara believes that Batth's late leveller could be the catalyst for Wolves to turn more encouraging displays into victories.

"We're obviously disappointed not to win the game, but we came away with a draw and we showed great spirit at the end to nick a point," the midfielder explains.

"If we'd lost that game, we'd have been on a downer for seven days, but we got a point. I think we played well - we dominated the possession, but we've just got to have that belief that what we're doing will get results."

If the wins are to come though, O'Hara believes that Wolves have to cut out the defensive errors that continue to blight their season.

Luke Varney's curled finish and Ross McCormack's penalty mean that Wolves have now conceded ten in their last five home games, and O'Hara says that it is vital that Wolves tighten up at the back if they are to climb the table.

"From back to front, we could all do that little bit better," he says. "We've got to stop conceding silly goals - we dominated the game, we were in charge and playing well and we end up conceding two goals. That's what's killing us.

"I don't know how it looked from the sidelines, but I felt that in the second half, we were comfortable. Once we went 1-0 up we looked like we were cruising, but then we get done on the break - exactly the same as at Leicester - and we've got to stop doing that."

As well as setting up Batth's equaliser on Saturday, O'Hara also had a hand in the game's opening goal, exchanging short passes with Bakary Sako which worked space for Stephen Ward to send in the cross that was turned into his own net by Lee Peltier.

He has now started the last three games after coming back from a long-term absence, and says he is pleased with the style of football that Wolves have adopted under Saunders.

"We're trying to play out from the back - I think the fans realise that," O'Hara says. "We've been working on playing from back to front not just by lumping it.

"I don't think the performances so far have been bad - I feel we were the better side against Leicester and got beat, we were the better side against Blackpool and got beat, and - apart from the first 20 minutes - overall I think we were the better team against Leeds."

However, O'Hara does concede that lack of confidence is still a major issue within the squad - and one which is not helped by the form of the bottom three in the nPower Championship, all of whom won on Saturday to ensure that Wolves are kept out of the drop zone by goal difference alone.

"The main problem we've got is the confidence in the team," O'Hara admits. "You can see that the lads are a bit tentative and we're finding it a bit difficult.

"We've got to start picking teams off. Against Leeds we had a couple of chances to go 2-0 up, and if we put those away that's the three points in the bag.

"However, a point turned out to be a good result in the end and it kept us out of the bottom three. No-one at Wolves would expect us to be down there, we're all disappointed about our league position but that's the way it is at the moment," he adds.

"We now need everyone to get behind us and make sure the club stays in the league." 

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