Kenny Jackett was delighted to see Wolves emerge from last gasp drama against Crawley with all three points – but believes the team have more gears to hit as the season takes shape.
Wolves were pushed all the way by a free-passing Crawley side, and, after failing to add to Bjorn Sigurdarson’s seventh minute header, found themselves back on level terms in the first minute of injury time thanks to Billy Clarke.
But Kevin McDonald’s cross from a driving run was handled by Kyle McFadzean, and Leigh Griffiths stepped up to hammer home the resulting penalty.
Wolves third successive victory made it ten points from the first four games and maintained the unbeaten Sky Bet League One start, also putting them top of the table at least until Saturday’s programme.
“I don’t think it (Crawley’s comeback) was complacency but I think we can play better,” said Jackett.
“I think we have got an improvement in us and more gears to come from our team.
“I also thought that Crawley played very well – they put on an excellent performance and tested us as all the way.
“Being 1-0 up for the majority of the game, the opposition are going to attack and what we should have done, particularly in the second half, was finish our chances on the counter attack and put the game out of reach.
“We had numerous situations where we could have put the game away and are looking then to be a bit more incisive.
“The game went end to end and you could see somewhere along the line the equaliser coming because of the quality of Crawley’s play.
“The last five minutes were certainly end to end as was all of the second half.
“When the equaliser did come we then did fantastically well to dig out a win in injury time.
“I thought it was an excellent run from Kevin McDonald to earn the penalty – a very good give-and-go and then he drove into the box really well.
“Both the substitutes have been involved with one creating the goal and the other scoring.
“I have seen it again and in this day and age, when the hand is away from the body I think it is a penalty.
“It is a very emotional game but I have seen it again and when the hand is away from the body and it is struck I think it is a penalty.
“I made sure I had another look before I came to speak to the press and in my opinion it was the right decision.”
Jackett confirmed Griffiths started on the substitute’s bench due to missing a large chunk of the week’s training due to a court appearance in Scotland, which has now been resolved.
But he admitted he’d have picked no one better to take the decisive penalty, which came after a long delay due to Crawley protests.
“Leigh had a busy week up in Scotland and was in court yesterday so had missed the last few days of training,” said Jackett.
“I was very pleased it was him taking the penalty.
“He is a natural finisher and in a big situation he calmly put the ball away very well.”
Even with knowing his team can play better, Jackett is greatly encouraged by the fighting spirit which has seen the team chalk up crucial late victories against both Crawley and Bristol City the previous weekend.
“Sometimes you have to work out a way to win and it’s never going to be easy,” he says.
“We do feel we can play better after a very dominant start to the game but fair play to the opposition – Crawley played very well tonight and I am sure set some standards for their season.
“We found a way to win and have to continue to do that while being honest and concise about our performances which we feel we can improve.
“To overcome conceding the equaliser and get the result was very pleasing from my point of view.
“We are quite a new group and are still getting to know each other but there are encouraging signs but plenty to improve.
“But we have just won three games on the trot and doing that at any standard of football is a very good achievement.”