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Boss: "Difficult To Take"


18:15 5th January 2013

Solbakken's thoughts after cup exit

Boss Ståle Solbakken tonight admitted it was “difficult to take” after Wolves exited the FA Cup at the third round stage thanks to a 1-0 defeat at non-league Luton.

After a tightly-contested first half in which Wolves squandered several chances, Alex Lawless lashed home a 46th minute for the Hatters to put them on course for a famous victory at a frenzied Kenilworth Road.

Wolves tried to get back into the game with Christophe Berra heading against the crossbar but even in nine minutes of injury time couldn’t find a breakthrough as they slipped to a fourth successive defeat.

“We always knew this was going to be a difficult game but of course it is very difficult to take to lose the game,” said the boss.

“And with the situation we are in at the moment it is even more difficult.

“In the first half we had an o-k performance and created four or five good chances but just couldn’t score – we should have been two goals up.

“I think Fordey, Sako or Doyle would have fancied themselves to have put one of the chances away and it would have been a different story.

“We are mentally vulnerable at the moment and it came back to haunt us when they got their goal.

“We didn’t take a chance in the first half to get a goal which could have settled us down and then at the start of the second half they scored with the volley and from there defended very well.

“It was always going to be a battle but they defended their penalty area very well.

“We had one hit the bar and one just wide but didn’t create as many chances as in the first half.

“Maybe that was a bit of confidence as well and at times we didn’t do the right thing.

“And they defended very deep and did it very well so we struggled to open them up.

“We didn’t win the battles in there or put in good enough crosses and so it wasn’t our day in front of goal.

“In a way it was two different games – the one before their goal and the one after that.

“It was a very stop-start in the play and we couldn’t get any rhythm in the second half - we were better in the first when the tempo was quicker.

“We did try and change it and put some more physical players into the box but Plan B didn’t work either.

“I can’t fault the players because they tried everything they could but we needed to continue the second half at the same level as the first.

“I said at half time that if we could do that then there was a very good chance we could win the game.”

The manager was questioned about his own position in the wake of four successive defeats, and also how he can turn things around and bring about a repeat of the more promising performances seen on other occasions during the first half of the season.

He added:  “I think it is a cocktail of different problems at the moment.

“It is not so easy as one thing because if it was it would be very easy to solve.

“The way to turn this around is to stay together.

“If we had scored first today I think we would have gone on to win the game easily but we didn’t.

“We have to face it and not make any excuses and we have to turn it around against Blackburn on Friday.”

Solbakken continued:  “It is natural to ask about my position, I am sure the focus will be on me but that is normal and that is football.

“I have to take that.

“I still think we can turn it around and nothing I have seen today has changed my view on that.

“We have shown this season that we can play football and we can win but at the moment we don’t.

“This is football and we just have to keep at it and work hard and put things right.

“I am just working on until I am told otherwise and that is how it works.

“That is a decision for other people and we are in touch all the time.

“It is a question for other people at the club but I will certainly continue to work as hard as I can as long as I am here.

“The dressing room is still together and I can’t start worrying about my job because if I do that then I won’t be able to do my job.

“I still believe in what I am doing and the dressing room are united together and hopefully we will come out of it together.”



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