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Boss's Praise For Comeback

PUBLISHED

19:52 16th March 2013

Saunders reflects on dramatic win

Boss Dean Saunders tonight praised his team’s second half comeback against Bristol City after admitting “everything had gone wrong” in the opening period.

Wolves conceded a “calamity” opening goal when David Davis’s back pass skidded under keeper Carl Ikeme’s foot and then lost both Bakary Sako and Dave Edwards to injury before half time.

Ikeme, suffering with a hand injury, was then also withdrawn at the break but Wolves stuck to their task and two goals in four minutes from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle sent Molineux into delirium.

“Never in doubt eh?!” quipped the boss.

“Although I wasn’t thinking that at half time!

“I just thought everything was going wrong for us in the first half – and yet we ended up with a win!

“I was very disappointed in how we played.

“We were lacking confidence, we weren’t sharp around the box and weren’t reacting to things and every sprint was like an afterthought.

“It was a calamity goal and I just couldn’t believe it had happened – it was a disaster particularly given how we’ve been struggling.

“Carl has knocked the ball out to Dave Davis who just needs to put the ball away from the goal and he has made a mistake and given him a dodgy bomb side-footing it into the middle of the goal.

“It was a difficult ball for Carl to deal with but he has to get something behind it and instead it has skidded through his legs.

“I think the two of them have got to do better.

“Within minutes Sako who is probably our best player and our most dangerous player has pulled his hamstring.

“We’ve got two weeks to the next game which is hopefully a result for us.

“And then within minutes David Edwards goes down and we lose him as well.

“I hope he hasn’t broken his foot but we will have to wait and see.

“At the same time our finishing wasn’t very good.

“I don’t think anyone in the stadium was happy at half time, including me.

“I went in at half time and had a go at everyone, I wanted some sort of reaction and had some choice words.

“I told them we were sitting there waiting for something to happen and were just going to slide to the bottom of the league if we didn’t do something about it.

“The players needed to find something inside them and they did.

“I’m not sure many people gave us a chance at half time - we were poor and out for the count but dug in and fought back and got the win.”

On the decision to replace Ikeme with Dorus De Vries, the boss added:  “Carl Ikeme had hurt his hand on the pitch and that made my mind up.

“It was forced on me because his hand wasn’t perfect and he may need an x-ray.

“I made that decision and that’s all there is to it and Dorus came on and did well.

“We had all the subs on the pitch then so I was hoping no one was going to get injured.

“I had a go at all of them at half time.

“But what goes on in that dressing room stays in that dressing room – I don’t tell people what I say to the players at half time apart from saying I had a go at them.

“Individually they get criticised, they get criticised every day.”

There was particular praise for the impact of Stephen Hunt, who provided the assists for both goals., and skipper-for-the-day Kevin Doyle, who popped up with the priceless headed winner 12 minutes from time.

“I have to say the character of the players yet again was very good,” added the boss.

“Instead of laying down and dying they have come back.

“They showed brilliant character because it was as low as it could be - the position we were in and conceding a goal like that when we are struggling for our lives and then losing our best player.

“The players dug in and got the result.

“I gave Kevin Doyle the captaincy because I thought that responsibility  might help him and he got a great goal.

“With that under his belt it should help him.

“Stephen Hunt came on and changed the game for us with two brilliant crosses for our goals.

“And he worked his socks off and he got the ball back when we lost it.

“I’m a bit surprised why the fans are giving him some stick because they normally like players like that because they give everything.

“And I forgive players like that if they make mistakes when they are giving everything.

“I thought he played really well and he did everything well.

“He was working hard, he was chasing, he was defending – he gives us that energy and spark and is an experienced player.

“He is brilliant in the dressing room as well and great around the club and he won’t let me down.”

Wolves are on a more decent run now having won two and drawn one of their last four games, but other teams are also picking up points meaning the battle for survival could go all the way to the wire.

“We’ve got seven points from four games now which is better and gets us on a bit of a roll,” said Saunders.

“Other teams are winning and there are a lot of teams still involved in it now.

“I’ve said to the lads we still need to win more games – 51 points normally keeps you up but it may need more this time.”

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