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Encouraged But Disappointed

PUBLISHED

01:22 1st February 2013

Boss's thoughts as Foxes fly high

Boss Dean Saunders was encouraged by what he believes was the best Wolves display of his brief spell in charge against Leicester on Thursday night – but still bitterly disappointed to see the team finish on the losing side.

Bakary Sako’s right foot strike cancelled out Anthony Knockaert’s first half opener and from there Wolves looked the better side, but the highflying Foxes hit back to take all three points thanks to an excellent finish from David Nugent.

Both Leicester’s goals came from quickfire breakaways, and the Wolves boss was left rueing mistakes at both ends of the pitch as his team suffered a second successive 2-1 defeat.

“I think we had 14 chances - ten clear-cut - and got done on two counter attacks,” he said.

“We played some great football and just didn’t take our chances, and missed and missed and missed!

“Even on the counter attacks Leicester had, we just backed off and that’s the sort of thing that happens when you are not confident.

“When you are confident you go out and meet the winger on the touchline and stop him there and not let him end up in the six yard box like for the first goal.

“Confidence and belief isn’t just about taking chances – when you have lost as many games as we have it can also be in defending and making tackles.

“And then the second goal came when we were looking really confident.

“We needed a win and were going for it with both full backs getting forward well and I thought it was a matter of time before we scored.

“Karl Henry turned out with the ball, Jamie O’Hara has ended up on the right wing and the middle of the pitch was free.

“We needed to stop their player before he turned with it and he’s been able to move up the pitch and Nugent has provided a great finish.”

Saunders continued:  “It was a good performance from the players who kept the ball really well and looked dangerous going forward.

“But I’m very disappointed with the result.

“I knew this was going to be a tough job and it is still a work in progress.

“We’ve lost 16 games this season so something is wrong and I have got to try and put it right.

“I made a few changes tonight and when you’re just starting with a team then things will go wrong and you will concede to counter attacks.

“If you have worked with a team for a year or 18 months you don’t get done on counter attacks like we did.

“So it is my job to put those things right and nail it down.

“It was an encouraging performance in the way we played but nobody likes losing and we needed a result tonight.

“It’s results that count even if we can be encouraged by the performance.

“When you lose that amount of games clearly confidence is not high and we have been struggling so I have to rebuild that confidence and belief.

“The team haven’t really had any momentum over the last three years or so and to lose so many games like this season knocks the stuffing out of you.

“When we look at it again I am sure we will be able to take some positives and once you get results that confidence will come back.

“There were a lot more positives than negatives.”

The transfer window slammed shut at 11pm on Thursday with Wolves not adding any senior players to the ranks.

Saunders confirmed he had come up against different obstacles in trying to strengthen the squad, but was relieved to hang onto the likes of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Stephen Ward and Kevin Doyle.

“I’ve tried to get some players in but there are not that many to choose from who are better than what we have got who we can afford,” he explained.

“I’ve looked at getting a few players in and we’ve made offers for a couple but the clubs were reluctant to let them go.

“Some of them in the Premier League are on 40 or 50 grand a week and we can’t do that.

“We also weren’t able to match what the clubs wanted because it’s the time of year and there is 30 per cent on top.

“And we’ve turned down some offers for some of our players as well because I didn’t want them to go.

“We’ve had offers for Sylvan and Stephen Ward and a couple of swop deal offers.

“I didn’t want Sylvan to leave – it is hard to replace a goalscorer especially in January – and so the club turned down a good offer for him.

“You need a goalscorer when you are struggling and Sylvan is our top scorer.

“And Stephen Ward is the only left back we’ve got in the club.

“We also had something going on with Kevin Doyle which we turned down as well.

“Something came in but we would have needed more than three or four hours to replace him.”

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