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Boss Rues 'Flat' Opening


18:18 6th April 2013

Saunders reflects on Bolton defeat

Boss Dean Saunders tonight admitted Wolves paid the penalty for a “flat” opening spell as Bolton chalked up a seventh successive home win thanks to early goals from David Ngog and Marcus Alonso.

Wolves were 2-0 down inside ten minutes and it could have been worse but for some saves from keeper Dorus De Vries, and although a change in formation saw the game become far more even home keeper Adam Bogdan denied Kevin Doyle and Adam Hammill a way back into the game in the second period.

Saunders highlighted both Bolton’s impressive form and indeed impressive players – as well as a delayed reaction to last weekend’s dramatic double-header of victories against Middlesbrough and Birmingham – as possible factors behind Wolves’ poor start.

“I don’t think we deserved anything today,” said the boss.

“We gave ourselves too much to do after the first 20 minutes when we were flat as a pancake.

“We didn’t come out of the traps at all, conceded two goals from corners and Dorus has made two or three saves as well.

“We came out flat and we haven’t started like that since I came here.

“It’s a combination of them having some really good players and the fact we were probably a bit flat after last weekend.

“We put in a massive effort to get those results and both games were 3-2 and going right to the 95th minute.

“Sometimes you get a reaction like we did today.

“Birmingham had a bit of it against us on Monday – they had beaten Crystal Palace 4-0 and all of a sudden are 3-0 down to us in the first half.

“Sometimes emotionally and mentally you can hit a brick wall in the Championship because it is so demanding with Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday.

“That is why you get results like you get because sometimes the players are flat and what happened last weekend has probably caught up with us today - mentally the players hit a bit of a brick wall.

“It is easy after a game with hindsight to look back and think that was going to be possible.

“But we had won three games on the trot and I put them out there to see if we could get four on the trot.

“I changed it after 20 minutes just to keep us in the game really rather than try and get straight back into it.

“We had to make sure we didn’t go 3-0 down and from that point it was an even game but we gave ourselves too much to do because we were 2-0 down before we could breathe.

“We got a foothold in the game and then Kevin had a header over, saw one saved really well and Adam Hammill got through and just had to poke the ball under the keeper.

“When the chances came we didn’t take them because at 2-0 you have to do that and then have a chance of nicking one at the end but it just didn’t happen today.”

Having gone into the game missing their two leading scorers in Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Bakary Sako, as well as other first team regulars in Carl Ikeme and Dave Edwards, Wolves now face an anxious wait to see if David Davis will join them in being out for the season after he limped off following a first half challenge which saw Jay Spearing booked.

“He’s been to hospital and hasn’t broken his ankle but it could be ligament damage,” Saunders explained.

“We are also missing our top scorer with a broken leg, left winger Sako out for the season, Dave Edwards, Carl Ikeme and we might have lost Dave Davis now as well.”

But the boss insists he will try and take some positives from the defeat ahead of another massive Molineux match-up against Huddersfield on Saturday (3pm).

“If there is a positive we didn’t crumble which we might have done because at one stage we were rocking,” he said.

“You have to remember Bolton have got very good players as well.

“Their front four are very good, Spearing and Kamara in the midfield, and a goalkeeper and back four who have pretty much played in the Premier League apart from Craig Dawson who is also a very good young player.

“They are a good team in good form particularly at home so we have probably bumped into them at the wrong time as well.

“We’ve won four out of six and had some good results but have lost against a very good team in Bolton.

“Some of their football was excellent and they caused us a lot of problems - we won’t be facing teams of their quality every week.

“We have got a massive game against Huddersfield next week now and we have to make sure we are mentally switched on for it.”

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