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Finding A Base


22:18 19th January 2013

Boss reflects on Wednesday stalemate

Boss Dean Saunders tonight reflected on creating a base from which to improve as Wolves fought out a goalless draw at in-form Sheffield Wednesday.

Dave Jones’s men have been on an upward curve in recent weeks – taking 13 points from six games prior to Wolves’ visit – including a 3-1 away win at highflying Hull last weekend.

So while Saunders admitted he is keen to see more attacking prowess from Wolves in the coming weeks, he was able to view the positives of earning a point at Hillsborough and only a second clean sheet in 19 attempts.

“I think that’s a good point away from home,” said the boss.

“Any game you go away from home and keep a clean sheet is a good return especially in this division.

“And it’s a marked improvement from the last away game which was a defeat at Luton.

“Sheffield Wednesday have been on good form winning a few games recently including at Hull City last weekend scoring three past them.

“So we knew we were in for a tough game.

“They hit a lot of long  balls on top of us and bombarded us from all angles and it was difficult to play against.

“And they were dangerous on the break with two very quick strikers who are like Olympic sprinters.

“They were on form, have an experienced manager and had a big crowd behind them.

“But we coped with everything and our centre backs headed balls away and I think Carl Ikeme just had one save to make in the first half.

“Apart from that I don’t think he had another save to make and they missed a few half chances with shots from the edge of the box which went over the bar.

“And then I think everybody was thinking in the last few minutes that maybe we were going to get a goal.

“When Peszko got into the box at the end I thought ‘here we go, we’re going to win 1-0’.

“But the ball just didn’t drop for us.

“It was a difficult pitch as well and was starting to freeze up a little bit at the end too.

“All in all we showed some spirit and determination, we fought and kept a clean sheet.

“I don’t know when the last clean sheet was – someone said it felt like two years ago!

“You’ve got to be able to resist away from home because every away game in the Championship can be lost if you are not right.

“It’s a start and gives us a good basis to work from and should give the players some confidence.

“We’ve had a point against a Blackburn team which had won three on the trot and are full of Premier League players and have got another one against a team today who were on form – we’ve stopped the rot.

“Another good thing is that Sheffield Wednesday are below us and this keeps them below us.”

Saunders had spoken before the game about needing to make Wolves more solid and less easy to play against, hence why an away clean sheet was so welcomed.

But he did change things in the second half, sending on the creative talents of Jamie O’Hara to try and turn the game Wolves’ way.

“Jamie came on in the second half and we changed the system a bit, he said.

“He got a grip of the game and we passed it well for about 15 minutes.

“We tried to get the ball on the floor and get control of the game.

“Before that we didn’t really put their goal under pressure for periods of time.

“We couldn’t get the ball down until Jamie came on and we changed the system and played three in there.”

Saunders has opened his Molineux tenure with two draws against teams who went into the fixtures in a good run of form.

He is now hoping to built on those foundations with some maximum point hauls as Wolves welcome Blackpool to Molineux on Saturday (3pm).

“We’ve got to get results,” he added.

“I have been part of a team that has winning and so at half time I’m in there confident and saying we are going to win.

“But obviously the players are sat in there without that confidence.

“When you are training they are all lively and all want the ball and it’s on a matchday when you see who is lacking a bit of confidence and belief.

“I’ve said to them to relax and calm down – we are going to get put under pressure away from home and have got to ride that pressure out and get some chances.

“I told them we would win this game, and that if we didn’t we would keep a clean sheet and take a point.

“We had a couple of half chances without troubling them too much but it was a difficult game."

Saunders continued:  “I’m not changing the style but I want to change the mentality.

“We’ve been losing for too long and have got to start winning.

“We’ve got to try and find a winning formula and today was about not actually losing.

“We fought and looked together as a group.

“I am pleased that in two games we have only let one goal in and it is the start that I wanted really.

“Talent will get you wins but won’t get you real success without being organised and determined and having a winning mentality.

“We need to know we are not going to come away and get out of position and players aren’t going to run everywhere and leave gaps.

“First of all you’ve got to have a base to work from with everyone organised, committed to the cause and pulling in the same direction.

“They’ve just lost a bit of belief and have all had opinions in the past about what has been right and what has been wrong.

“It’s my job to be putting all those things right and they will get confidence in me if I can do that.

“We have got different ways of playing but there are still things I am seeing out there which I have ironed out at other teams.

“I will do that here as well and that will make the whole thing click.

“We’ve got a couple of results now and if we can get a couple of wins then these two results become brilliant results.

“And then you might see the players performing like they can.

“They have just lost a bit of belief and have had the hangover of getting relegated.

“I’m getting a clearer picture of what I think we need to do well in this league and it will get clearer as we go along.

“I’ve been here for 11 days so far and it’s about what I think is right and what I think is wrong and what I think we can get better at.

“We’ve just got to keep getting results while I’m doing it.”

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