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Boss Expecting High Levels


11:27 2nd October 2012

Solbakken confident team can keep going

Ståle Solbakken today expressed confidence Wolves can maintain a decent level of performance against in-form Crystal Palace.


And while that won’t guarantee a result against the Eagles, who have taken 13 points from their last five games, the boss can sense a steely determination among his players.


“I think the players are quite ‘up’ for it at the moment – their bottom level has got higher and that’s important because they feel a little more secure in what they’re doing,” he says.


“When we played Cardiff, we dropped down to a level we shouldn’t have but we haven’t done that since.


“I think that has provided security for the players – they feel the four wins in a row has given them a certain level.


“It’s not there all the time but we haven’t dropped down to the levels we showed at Cardiff.


“I can’t see that we’re going to drop to those levels again.


“I can’t guarantee we’re going to play a certain way against Palace three days after playing Sheffield Wednesday, but I think we’ll have a certain level.”


It is another home game tonight, where the onus will be on Wolves to attack, but the manager admits it is all about finding the right balance between doing that and not leaving the defence open.


That was one of the key elements of the second half against the Owls on Saturday, the decision between whether to push on in search of a second goal or do a professional job and see the game out.


“It’s always about balance,” the boss explains.


“We could have had a second goal but it would have been stupid to chase one and end up conceding because it’s better winning 1-0 instead of drawing 1-1.


“I understand that every Wolves fan in the stadium wants a second goal – no one wants one more than me sitting in the dugout – we want two or three more goals to get it over with.


“But it’s also something of a culture thing.


“If you chase too hard for a second goal – as you should sometimes – you can open the game up too much because you have to send certain players into certain positions.


“You get more end-to-end stuff, and that makes you a little bit vulnerable.


“If it went to 1-1, Sheffield Wednesday may have sat back.”


And Solbakken believes Wolves must be prepared to be flexible tonight against a Palace side able to mix a physical approach with no small amount of quality.


“We were the footballing team against Sheffield Wednesday but Palace played with the ball on the ground a lot against Cardiff then against Bolton it was a very physical battle two teams battling against each other with a lot of fighting for second balls,” he said.


“We have to be ready for both.”


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