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Boss: "We Went For It"


19:54 30th March 2013

Saunders reflects on dramatic afternoon

Boss Dean Saunders tonight praised the character of his team after recovering from twice being pegged back – once controversially – to build on recent momentum and edge out Middlesbrough at Molineux.

A Stephen McManus own goal forced by an excellent Stephen Hunt cross put Wolves in front, before Boro drew level when Grant Leadbitter’s shot off the bar was signalled to have crossed the line by the assistant referee, a decision proved incorrect by TV replay.

Björn Sigurdarson’s excellent solo effort restored Wolves advantage only for Leadbitter to hit back with an equally impressive goal, before captain Kevin Doyle nodded home the winner for the second successive game after Roger Johnson headed on Matt Doherty’s throw.

Wolves have now chalked up three wins out of four and taken 10 points from five after an improvement in form, but they are going to have to keep it going as they remain in the bottom three with so many other teams also posting decent results.

“It was an unbelievable game to watch as a neutral and both teams could probably have scored ten!” said Saunders.


“We’ve both had chances and they hit the bar as well.

“It was a great game to watch but not very good if you were either manager because it was like a basketball match at times.

“There were a lot of incidents, we scored a couple of great goals and they did as well with a shot from the edge of the box.

“We went for it today.

“We had to win the game and I’m standing on the side hoping that we take the chances because it ended up being a case of us having to score more than them.

“Both full backs were getting forward and joining in, it looked like we had four strikers on the pitch at times and the two midfield players were getting forward.

“We were a bit suspect to counter-attacks and got away with a few to be fair.

“We didn’t have too many defensive players on the pitch and it became a case of wanting to score more than they did.”

Saunders continued:  “Our first goal was maybe a bit fortunate with the own goal but we were putting some good pressure on them.

“Stephen Hunt did brilliantly, getting himself behind the back four and flashing the ball across the face of goal.

“It is that corridor of uncertainty where a defender might stick his leg out and it goes in and that’s what happened.

 “And then the linesman has given a goal which was not over the line.

“He was seven yards away from the byline when he gave it – he’s not in line with the goal.

“I think it’s an absolutely ridiculous decision because the ball has hit the crossbar and come down and hit the line.

“I can understand when they don’t give penalties or goals in those situations when they are not sure because if they are not sure they shouldn’t give it.

“All the players knew at half time it wasn’t over the line and I’ve also seen it again.

“They took a punch from the officials there but they have come back from it and shown great character.

“It was a decision which could have cost us dearly and I think we could have had a penalty for handball in the second half as well.

“It is a difficult job that referees and linesman have and they don’t get things wrong on purpose.

“But if I could say anything to them it would be that if you’re not sure then don’t give it.”

With Wolves 3-2 ahead heading into the closing stages, the boss shored things up by bringing on Karl Henry and then Danny Batth, going five at the back.

It was a decision which paid dividends as Boro were limited to only one real chance at the end of the game when Lukas Jutkiewicz flashed as shot wide.

“We were getting done on the counter attack a bit so I brought Danny Batth in to try and fill a gap,” added the boss.

“He is brilliant in the air and we were struggling to stop the flow through the middle of the pitch.

“They’d got Ameobi on who is 6ft 5 and Jack Robinson is marking him at the back post.

“I just moved Kaspars a bit closer to Jack and put Danny Batth on on the right hand side.

“Sometimes you get them right and sometimes you get them wrong but we got the result we wanted and we move on to Birmingham.”

The way the league is looking it could be a sizeable haul required to stay up this season.

But Saunders remains confident Wolves can get themselves out of trouble, particularly if they can continue the recent upturn in results.

“All in all I am pleased we have won and if we keep winning the way it’s going we might have a chance of getting in the play offs!” he joked.

“Seriously it’s three wins in four for us and we are going in the right direction.

“And I have to say the fans were brilliant today as well and got right behind the team.

“We’ve found some momentum but so have everyone else.

“Barnsley have lost and Blackburn and Blackpool drew but Ipswich, Peterborough and Millwall have won over the last couple of days.

“I think we’re five points off the middle of the table so if we could just get a win at Birmingham we’d be a couple of points away.

“We just have to worry about ourselves and not think too much about the other results.

“I’m hoping we can get two or three quick wins and not be in that stressed situation with two games to go where you are needing to win.”

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