Disappointed Wolves boss Ståle Solbakken tonight admitted Wolves left themselves too vulnerable to counter-attacks against Nottingham Forest, but called on everyone not to lose the belief that the team will turn things around.
This afternoon’s 2-1 defeat at Molineux – Wolves losing despite a fine early opener from summer signing Björn Sigurdarson – made it eight games without success since victory at Blackburn took the club to third in the npower Championship table.
And Solbakken was particularly aggrieved that after an end-to-end first half in which Wolves could have regained their lead, the second period proved something of an anti-climax after former Molineux Man Adlene Guedioura rifled home a superb 57th minute winner.
“Not being able to hold onto a lead is one thing but it’s more than that,” said the boss.
“What disappoints me today is that mostly all the chances and the two goals were counter attacks which is very unnecessary from us.
“We controlled it and then one ball through and it’s 1-1 which is a cheap goal.
“Then we get a little bit scared before we get back into it and have a few chances to get in front.
“In the last ten minutes of the first half especially we could have got a goal.
“We tried to push on again at the start of the second half but then concede from another counter attack.
“The goals against were very poor and unnecessary today.
“They were good defending their box and sat deep and made it difficult for us.
“It was a lot tighter in the second half and once they got in front they defended their lead well.
“We were just not good enough to open them up.
“We did play some nice stuff in the offensive in the first half but we didn’t have the balance right and were punished for it.
“We were a little bit naïve in allowing them so many counter attacks – if Nottingham Forest had maybe five chances I think four of them were counter attacks and that is not good enough.”
The first half in particular was extremely open, and the manager admits that it was a priority to try and make things tighter in the second half.
“The first half was very open, maybe too open,” he said.
“I think we were not as tight in the middle of the pitch as we wanted to be.
“That made us vulnerable to counter attacks and we spoke about that at half time.
“In the first half we had made enough chances but we didn’t want to let them have any easy chances in the second.
“But still we managed to put ourselves in trouble by letting in another counter attack which decided the game.
“I wasn’t happy with the way we defended.”
Solbakken acknowledged a “nice” goal from Guedioura, with his annoyance at the way Wolves lost the ball in attack allowing Forest to counter, but has no regrets with his departure from Molineux this summer.
“He had one year left and it wasn’t the hardest choice when we got a fair price,” said the boss.
Attentions instead have turned to ensuring belief and confidence levels do not drop ahead of a now crucial home game with Millwall at Molineux on Tuesday (7.45pm).
“I’m not so concerned about home form but it’s that we have struggled to win even games and before have had too many draws,” he explained.
“All in all our performances at home have been o-k but of course we need to pick up points very soon now.
“And that’s not only one but three.
“We have a home game here on Tuesday and that becomes very important for us now.
“We are all concerned about our recent run and it’s not an easy position to be in.
“You could see in the second half that at times we were scared and frustrated.
“It is important that we don’t do that and carry on believing and don’t let our heads drop.
“We have to get rid of any nervousness because that won’t help.
“I think it is very small margins in every game.
“But having said that if you haven’t won in seven or eight then it is obviously also a little bit in the head as well.
“When they scored the second goal we struggled to get the rhythm in the game again and they sat deep.
“They were very strong in their penalty area but I also think there was a little bit of a lack of confidence from us as well in that period.
“After that goal we looked like a team which hasn’t won for a while in the way we passed the ball – safe balls went wrong and players made the wrong decisions which is often down to a lack of self belief.
“That has to go before Tuesday because if you are afraid of something you will never turn the corner so we have to get over that and make sure we are trustful in what we are doing.
“That was the first sign I saw today really after we went 2-1 down with players not wanting to look for hard passes and making easy passes look difficult.
“I think we were a little bit too “Wild West” at times today.
“The players desperately want to win but at times we lost the shape both going forward and at the back.”