Kenny Jackett was pleased with the commitment and heart shown by his team in this afternoon’s FA Cup tie at Oldham, as both teams defied the torrential conditions to play out a lively draw.
Genseric Kusunga headed Oldham into the lead after 70 seconds, but Wolves hit back with Scott Golbourne also producing a fine header eight minutes before the break.
Both teams had chances to win it in the second half – Golbourne again for Wolves – but ultimately the spoils were shared with the replay set for Molineux a week on Tuesday.
“There was character, heart and commitment in abundance from our team today,” said Head Coach Jackett.
“It was a tough game and typical cup tie with a good atmosphere.
“We were pleased with the first half when we could maybe have got in front.
“I don’t think their early goal unsettled is too much and we played some good football in the first half.
“We didn’t quite get the ball down as much in the second half, although there was one good chance at either end both of which were put over the bar.
“In the end, and considering the conditions, I’m not disappointed with the heart of the team, or with the result, and am just looking forward now to the replay a week on Tuesday.
“It is difficult some times in these conditions of torrential rain which can be difficult to play in and this seems to be a feature at the moment!
“But the lads did show spirit, and terrific heart – there are certain things we are looking to do better but there were certain spells in the game and particularly the first 45 minutes when we were starting to look like the side I want us to be.
“We couldn’t quite link it as much in the second half and it became more of a battle but when that happened we battled away.”
Jackett switched his team around with Jack Price recalled and Dave Edwards and Jake Cassidy also handing starts, to positive effect.
There was then the opportunity to send Kevin Doyle and Leigh Griffiths on from the bench as Wolves went in search of a winner.
“I felt that Dave Edwards and Jake Cassidy, coming back into it fresh, were massive plusses for me in their performances,” he said.
“I was also pleased with Jack Price coming back in and I think we missed his passing when he went off in terms of linking the play or settings things up.
“He is a very bright player who has a good future.
“I wanted to get Kevin Doyle on the pitch as I felt he could come on and change it.
“It was a situation where it could have gone either way but I decided to take a midfield player off.
“Sometimes with a substitution you have to take a chance and maybe go for it to try and win the game.
“The likes of Doyle and Griffiths come on and you are looking for one of them to try and get the winning goal.
“Them not starting wasn’t a case of saving them for other matches.
“I’d said before I was disappointed with the whole team on Tuesday night at Carlisle and disappointed with the output.
“And Cassidy, Edwards and Price coming in did give us fresh energy especially after two long away trips.
“It’s Dave Edwards’ first 90 minutes for something like eight months and hopefully he is now going to give us something going forward.
“He’s a goalscoring midfielder and he got in twice and I think when he finds his true match fitness and confidence he will put those chances away.”
And Jackett has no qualms about an additional fixture on the list with the replay now in ten days’ time.
“It’s an open secret that we are targeting promotion,” he added.
“But when the FA Cup comes around, and we are playing against a League One rival, we don’t want to lose the game and we showed good heart and commitment and there were a lot of positives in our performance too.
“It was a tricky tie coming to Oldham.
“We’d have loved to have won but it was a difficult game and now we look forward to the replay.”