Boss Dean Saunders described Wolves latest disappointment as “sickening” after the team again failed to build on a decent first half and going in front in Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Barnsley.
Wolves have scored the first goal three times in seven games since Saunders took charge last month, and in all three have found themselves pegged back to go 2-1 behind, hitting back to claim a point against Leeds but finishing on the losing side both last night and against Blackpool.
At Oakwell a fine early goal from Björn Sigurdarson was followed up by a Jamie O’Hara strike which agonisingly came back off the underside of the bar, and the hosts responded after the break with goals from Chris Dagnall and Jacob Mellis enough to send Wolves into the bottom three of the npower Championship.
“It’s really sickening, a kick in the teeth,” said the frustrated boss.
“Going forward I thought we were excellent, probably the best since I have been here, but we missed too many chances.
“We started off well and scored a great goal and they couldn’t get out of their half for 15 minutes.
“We went in 1-0 up at half time and could have maybe had a couple more.
“Jamie hit the crossbar and it came out which was a bit of bad luck.
“I’ve been told it was over the line but I don’t know whether it was.
“It was a great strike and would have put us 2-0 up.
“They’ve had a few chances as well and we had some close shaves at our end but when the game turned into a scrap defensively we didn’t resist when we had to and couldn’t see it out which is very disappointing.
“It was an important game for us but we surrendered the lead when we knew we were going to have to defend really well in the second half because Barnsley are a good team especially going forward.
“We gave them a goal just after half time which was a bad goal for us.
“I think Dagnall is 5ft 8in and how he gets a header in from so close and gets in between our players I don’t know.
“For the second goal we back off and back off and he puts the ball in the middle of the goal and that’s been happening for a couple of years I think – that type of goal.
“I’ve got to try and sort it out.”
Saunders switched formation during the first half to go from 4-4-2 to a three-man central midfield and switching Sigurdarson to the right wing, a move he revealed was designed to try and cut off the supply to the Tykes’ frontmen.
“We started with 4-4-2 and scored a goal but they got on top of us a little bit so we changed it to try and stop the ball going in to their strikers as it was going in too easy,” he said.
“They were big strong lads up front and it was sticking with them and they were bringing their midfield players into play.”
The boss acknowledges it would be a “disaster” if Wolves find themselves relegated to League One, but believes they will have enough to survive if they can dig in and quickly find the win which would see confidence return.
And he is hopeful that Sunday’s arrival of table-topping Cardiff (2pm) might prove just the spur the team requires.
“It’s just not going for us at the minute,” he said.
“We’ve got Cardiff on Sunday which is a great game for us against the top team.
“We have got to go and beat them and if we do that it changes around again.
“We’ve got to roll our sleeves up and dig in and put it right on Sunday.
“I’ve been here seven games and this has been going on for a long time.
“I’ve got to put an end to it and get the mentality right.
“I have explained to them that there are lots of consequences if we don’t stay in this league and it would be a disaster for the club.
“We have got to dig in and pull ourselves out of it.”
Saunders continued: “We don’t want to be in the bottom three obviously.
“Hopefully reality hits home because I’ve been trying to drum it into the players since I got here – ‘don’t think it can’t happen to you’.
“I’ve been telling them if I was a supporter I’d be wanting to make sure they realise what the situation at the club is.
“I thought they fought tonight and you could see that and some of the football we played was excellent.
“It was just a nervousness that after we went ahead they came back at us and we took a step back instead of taking a step forward.
“I’m saying we should have enough in that dressing room to get better results than we are getting.
“We have lost three games since I’ve been here and they have all been 2-1 and we could have won them all.
“Everyone is trying their best and we just need to get one win and then instead of taking a step back we will relax a bit when we are in front.”