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Dean's Defensive Dilemma


19:39 9th February 2013

Boss seeks more solid base

Boss Dean Saunders is keen to take out a defensive loan in the near future, insisting Wolves have to improve their ‘goals against’ column if they are to return to winning ways.

Against Leeds at Molineux this afternoon, as in the previous home game with Blackpool, a 1-0 lead was turned into a 2-1 deficit, although on this occasion there was a rousing finale as man of the match Danny Batth marked his first league start at Molineux with a crucial injury time headed equaliser.

While pleased with his team’s workrate and some of the football played going forward, the boss believes the lack of clean sheets will continue to cause problems and is committed to doing something about it by scouring the emergency loan market.

“I thought we played really well in spells today and maybe for longer spells than previously,” said the boss.

“We played a lot better and deserved to win and missed good chances to make it 2-0 which we just needed to take.

“We got in front and then their equaliser came from a goal kick which you just can’t do.

“We didn’t clear the ball properly and it drops and there’s a ricochet and to be fair to Varney he has then taken it really well into the corner.

“But it came from a goal kick, whoever you are you should not be conceding from opposition goal kicks because it is the easiest ball to defend.


“And we struggled with it.

“And then the referee gives a penalty which is never a penalty.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty at the time and now I’ve seen it back and it was a scandalous decision.

“The right back has come in off the back of Sako and they are both running for the ball.

“The Leeds player has realised the ball is running away from him and has just thrown his body across Sako and what amazes me is that the linesman gave it as well.

“But we have to defend better against goal kicks, free kicks and from long throws because that is the league we are in.

“At the moment we just seem to struggle with any team playing directly against us and we struggle to cope.

“At 1-0 I thought we were doing well but history tells you that we can’t keep the ball out of our net.

"As a back four and as a team, those are the basics which we have to be able to defend.

“We can’t just keep working away and then all of a sudden expect our defence to become watertight - I’m going to have to do something about it.

“Going forward we were as good as anybody in the league today and some of the football with the players spinning passes together was excellent.

“But it’s no good if you can’t defend.

“With all the teams I have had in the past, eventually the back four get clean sheets and do not concede goals.

“We need to deal with the basics because if you don’t get clean sheets you are not going to get anywhere.”

Saunders revealed the difficulties involved in bringing in a defensive recruit during the January transfer window and also now in the loan market, citing some of the wages quoted on potential targets.

“We are talking every day and we’ve been trying to do something to get people in,” he said.

“We’ll have to have another chat.

“I’m trying my best right now to get players in we can afford.

“There are three managers who have got the sack through not being able to stop the team conceding goals and I am not going to be the fourth.

“It’s a necessity now and we have to do something about it – we have got to become more solid as a team.

“But it’s not that simple (to bring players in).

“There are players available maybe who can’t get in Premier League teams but some are on 25 grand a week, some on 50 grand a week, 60 grand a week.

“Some will look at the league table and have a chance of going to A, B or C.

“There are not that many to be honest - at the moment I couldn’t name ten whereas in the summer we will have 75 per cent more defenders to choose from.

“I have targeted three or four players I want to get in and it’s just a case of whether we can afford to do it.

“Getting someone in will help everyone I think.

“We can’t bankrupt the club and it’s a case of juggling the balls and coming up with the right answer.

“But going the other way will be disaster for the club.”

The positive from this afternoon was certainly some of the football played going forward, and the determination and spirit of the team to bounce back in added time to pick up the point which keeps them above the npower Championship’s relegation zone.

“Having gone behind we did show the desire and determination to get back into it and didn’t let the game fizzle out,” said the boss.

“At Blackpool at home in the last game we didn’t really get a finale at the end to try and get a goal back but today we did.

“I was disappointed with that against Blackpool but on the positive we did well today to dig ourselves out and get a result.

“Young Danny has gone up and scored a great goal – he played well today.

“He showed some desire to score the goal and went up there and got us the result.

“He’s got a great attitude as well and if you are good enough you are old enough.

“We have got keep plugging away and things will change.

“I have said to the lads in there that the goal at the end could be the one which turns our season around.”

There were also words of praise for the home fans, who contributed to a lively atmosphere with a sellout away following and were rewarded for staying with the team by the late Batth equaliser.

“Everybody is in it together and the supporters were excellent today,” he added.

“They stayed with us and I think they could see we were having a go and I have said to the players if they keep doing that then I can’t ask for much more.”

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