Boss Ståle Solbakken insists his “hurt” players are ready to produce a post-Peterborough backlash against Ipswich this afternoon – as he continues to pursue both a short and long term Molineux vision.
The Boxing Day disappointment surprised the Wolves manager after three wins from the previous four, and the game has been digested and hopefully learned from ahead of today’s clash with the Tractor Boys (3pm).
“Hopefully it’s been as difficult for the players as it has been for me,” says the boss.
“I hope they hurt.
“It’s always difficult for a manager when your team produces a performance like that but the players also find it difficult – they’re the ones who are going to perform.
“Hopefully they feel hurt as well.
“I guess I could change eight or nine of them and none should ask me why.
“But I don’t think it is wise after four good performances to make so many changes and exclude so many players.
“You always have to look at the bigger picture and we’ve been playing at quite a high level - the four games before the catastrophic Peterborough game.
“So you have to have that in perspective but saying that what happened on Boxing Day is still a little bit mysterious.
“Obviously the players are hurt - and they should be - like everyone else, from fans to manager, to owner to everyone.
“We are playing ‘catch up’ and can’t afford to have too many like those days.
“The players know what I think about it, as a team but also as an individual because only two or three of them can look themselves in the mirror and those who cannot have been told in public in front of the whole squad but there have also been individual conversations that they are playing a dangerous game with those kinds of performances.”
Solbakken knows Wolves need a positive response this afternoon, but is also focused on sustained long-term improvement at Molineux.
He added: “In any club, if you want to change things and go in a different direction but if they’re not going 100 per cent right, you still have to believe in what you think is right.
“I understand you have to win games in the short term and you have to keep the short and long-term aims together to make sure you get the right platform to be successful.
“That’s how we’re trying to build it and I think that would have been a much easier argument to have if we had six or seven more points.
“But a strong club or a good club doesn’t act on just that.
“I also think when you hire someone you’ve done your homework in terms of what kind of football and what kind of direction they want to go.
“That was what triggered me to come here.
“Having said that we have six, seven or eight points fewer than we should at this moment in time – we hoped to have more.
“We can’t hide behind that fact.
“I feel the important thing is that the players believe in what we’re doing and can see and sense the ideas behind it.
“We’ve shown we can be successful without being naïve.”
*Tickets are still available for today’s game but must be purchased from the Ticket Office, subject to availability. None will be available on the turnstiles.