Ståle Solbakken tonight insisted Wolves need points and not praise for their fighting spirit – as he described the controversial red card given to Christophe Berra as “very very harsh.”
Berra’s sending off came after a challenge with Troy Deeney in the 24th minute, referee Graham Scott claiming the Wolves man had denied a goalscoring opportunity despite the Hornets’ striker getting in a shot which Carl Ikeme saved.
There was little if any appeal from the Watford players or bench, but the decision left Wolves battling with ten men for over half of the game for the second successive Saturday.
Despite the reduction in numbers Bakary Sako’s swirling free kick from out wide deceived Manuel Almunia to draw Wolves level in the second half, only for Deeney to pop up with a headed winner.
“From my position I thought the decision was very harsh,” Solbakken said of the red card.
“I think there was a little bit of both players trying to get to the ball and I think they went into each other and he had a shot which Carl saved.
“I didn’t see any appeals from anybody and I think everyone thought it was over.
“The players didn’t appeal and in the dugout I think they were just thinking about the missed opportunity.
“I think the referee created a problem for himself after that and it was a very harsh one but it’s his decision.
“We don’t know if that decision cost us the game because a lot of things can happen but it was a very harsh decision.
“It had been a very even game up until then.
“We started the brighter but they came into it with a couple of counter attacks and then the red card.
“They came together but I don’t think it was anything that you don’t see all the time in the Championship so I thought it was a strange red card.
“They say luck and decisions even themselves out so maybe that will happen but I have no complaints over the red card last week so I don’t want to blame the referee or anything.
“But I do think he got it wrong today.”
Wolves did respond well with another committed performance which had the travelling fans applauding at full time, but the boss admits that counts for little when points are the priority.
“I am pleased with how we are fighting and it’s credit to the players but we are also in a situation where we need points quickly,” added the boss.
“We were talking about fighting spirit last week and now we have two home games where it is very crucial for us to get on track again.
“You lose your rhythm a little when you play with ten men for 65 minutes today and over a half last Saturday.
“We have to carry on working hard and believing in ourselves.
“We want points now and not praise for playing with ten men all the time.
“We ended up with zero points today and we are in a situation where we badly need points at the moment.
“I am not concerned about how we are playing with ten men but I am concerned that we are struggling to get points because that is what football is all about.”
The boss also explained the approach in the second half as Wolves tried to get themselves back into the game.
“We struggled a bit shortly after the red card when Watford had one or two chances and then scored their goal,” added the boss.
“But we came back in the second half, had some attempts and equalised and then let in a cheap second goal.
“We fought hard and then created some chances with ten men so that’s positive but it is difficult to play with ten men every week.
“We tried everything and with ten men you are always going to concede chances but it was a soft goal we let in when we went to sleep a little bit after a set piece.
“We went through different formations in the second half to try and get back into the game.
“We went 3-4-2 at the start and then got the goal so went to 4-4-1 and then 4-3-2 at the end.
“We had to change a little bit to make sure we moved higher up the pitch than in the first half.
“To be fair to the guys they created some good chances in the second half.”