Karl Henry today urged Wolves to “dig in” and earn the right to play their football after a hugely disappointing defeat at Burnley.
Wolves were beaten 2-0 at Turf Moor, with boss Ståle Solbakken acknowledging they didn’t start threatening until the last 20 minutes, by which time it was too late to fight their way back into the game.
Now captain Henry has called on the team to “be men” and ensure they are up to the task physically as well as playing the more progressive possession-based style of football which the manager demands.
“We were not good enough on Saturday and it’s as simple as that,” said Henry.
“We picked it up in the second half and had chances and Sako hit the post with a good effort and Sylvan maybe should have scored the rebound.
“Apart from that we huffed and puffed and were beaten and probably beaten up a little bit today as well.
“It is a physical game and they always are in the Championship when they come thick and fast.
“Teams can play nice, pretty football in the Premier League but in this division you need to mix it up and I don’t think we did that on Saturday.
“We tried to turn them and play long balls but their centre halves dominated us I thought and won everything in the air.
“And at the other end we gave them chances with sloppy play and we got dominated all over the pitch.
“We need to pull our finger out on the physical side of the game.
“The manager wants us to play with a high tempo and he wants us to keep the ball.
“I think we can keep the ball better than we have done but we’ve got to turn that into chances and scoring goals and make sure we improve in that area.
“We know we were not good enough, it was a poor performance.
“Never mind promotion, we won’t games at this level playing like that.
There was an improvement towards the end of the match, sparked by the influential Bakary Sako, but Henry agrees with the manager that the late rally should not mask what had gone before.
“We changed things a bit in the second half,” he said.
“Sako is a good player and when we were able to find him in space he caused problems.
“We had a few ricochets in the second half as well when I think we could have turned and got a shot off and I had a chance to do that at one stage when one came out to me.
“We’ve got to be clinical.
“There were a couple of positives in the second half maybe but on the whole nowhere near good enough.
“We have to come to places like Burnley and grind out results and be men, and we weren’t that on Saturday.”
The only silver lining to Saturday’s disappointing defeat is that Wolves have an immediate chance to try and put things right via another tough away test at Hull tomorrow (7.45pm).
And Henry knows this is the time when the team has to stick together to have the best chance of a change in fortunes.
“We’ve got to stick together at times like this and dig in,” he insists.
“The Championship is all about digging in and winning games that maybe weren’t great games but you win them and go home happy with the three points.
“That is the one good thing about the games coming thick and fast – the chance to put it right.
“We need to be tougher and nastier and more physical and win those battles, at the moment I don’t think we are doing that enough.
“I think we have played enough games now to know the way the manager wants us to play and to put his ideas into practice.
“And we have got to win the battle as well.
“Maybe people don’t always see it from the side of the pitch but it is about those little balls that drop and who wins them.
“It’s about us being tough in possession and out of possession, I didn’t really see that on Saturday and we need to show more of that.”