Kenny Jackett tonight praised the character of his Wolves team in coming back from 3-1 down at in-form Rotherham to claim a point – and challenged them to make it an even better one by winning their two home games over Christmas.
Having led through Danny Batth’s first goal of the season, Wolves were overhauled either side of the interval as Nouha Dicko’s brace and Kieran Agard put the Millers into a two-goal lead.
But Bakary Sako tucked home a penalty awarded for handball, James Henry added an equaliser and in the closing stages it was Wolves pushing hard for a winner.
“It was a cracking game with both teams attacking from start to finish,” said Jackett.
“It was end to end with the team on top changing constantly and there were plenty of goals.
“There was a big crowd here and the place was buzzing with a terrific atmosphere and Rotherham are a good side with some very good players.
“It was a big game for Rotherham and you could see the atmosphere was electric and all the players were up for it.
“We matched that today when last week MK Dons’ level of motivation won them the points but it wasn’t like that today.
“We did very well to turn it around in the second half when they’d gone 3-1 up and I was pleased with the tremendous response from our players.
“I always felt we were in the game and even at 3-1 down I felt we could get something if we got our game going right.
“In the first half Rotherham played really well and put us under a lot of pressure and it was hard for us to get out.
“At the same time we were playing on the break and had opportunities but didn’t really make the most of them.
“We stuck at it and in the second half turned it around and the players should be commended for it.”
The turning point of the game proved to be that penalty decision awarded for handball by referee Michael Oliver, and Jackett believes the official was spot-on.
“I haven’t seen it again on DVD but at the time I thought it was handball and a cast iron penalty.
“I had a good view of it from my position in the dugout when I was fairly close to it and thought it was a deliberate handball.
“It maybe gave us an opportunity to get back into it but we have been on the wrong end of some decisions lately and haven’t moaned about it.
“Liam McAlinden had a perfectly good goal ruled out last week when James Henry was offside and there was the Peterborough game (Mark Little handball) the week before.
“We haven’t really dwelled on those decisions because you win some and you lose some but I did feel today from where I was standing it was a clear handball.”
And now Jackett will be urging his team to build on their late flourish this afternoon in the home games with Crewe and Leyton Orient on December 26th and 29th respectively (both 3pm).
“By the end today we looked the stronger side which was some achievement given where we’d been and the fact that Steve Evans has put together a terrific Rotherham side who are a real threat,” added the Head Coach.
“Going into the final 10 or 15 minutes of the game I was on the side looking for a winner rather than settling for a point.
“We dug deep and found a lot and need to go on now and capitalise in our home games.
“We showed a lot of character to come back and while you want to win a game I’m certainly not disappointed because this was a tough day for us against a team who are going well.
“I was very pleased with the attitude and the character and the way we came back and we got what looks to be a very good point.
“It was a good goal from James Henry which followed up the penalty and we had some good chances after that with Leigh Griffiths clean through as well.
“I know he is very disappointed that he stumbled because you put him in that position and in the majority of occasions he will score.
“I don’t think you could look at the whole game and say we necessarily did enough to win it but in the latter part it did look like we were going to win it rather than Rotherham.
“It’s a very good point for us and we have to capitalise on it now going into two home games when we have to make use of home advantage.
“If we get results in those then it makes it a good point.
“Our thoughts will be on trying hard to beat Crewe and then Leyton Orient.”