Kenny Jackett tonight admitted there was “hurt” and “disappointment” after Wolves made a disappointing exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Oldham Athletic.
Goals from Danny Philliskirk and substitute Adam Rooney put the Latics firmly in control of the first round replay, and Leigh Griffiths’ injury time strike proved nothing more than a consolation.
And there was no complaint about the result from the Head Coach as Wolves slipped to only their third defeat in regulation time from 21 games so far this season.
“It hurts tonight with the performance which was poor,” said Jackett.
“Oldham had more appetite for the game than we did and deserved to win.
“Having said that when we started the game we looked like we had four centre halves at the back instead of mobile full backs.
“I like my full backs to be able to play, to go forward and to open sides up.
“Our wide men didn’t join in anywhere like near enough and come off the line and front two were very static in terms of one of them coming deep to link the play.
“We didn’t play out from the back and supplement the central midfield two of McDonald and Price with any type of movement and cohesion from the wings.
“We couldn’t get up to the final third because we looked very wooden and our play in the middle third was poor.
“Because of that I felt that until the last quarter of the game when we changed to a diamond we didn’t get through the middle third at all with any type of quality of pass.
“It was only then that we were able to work their goalkeeper and have any sort of effect going forward.
“Up until then we were very one dimensional and easy to play against.
“I didn’t think the set-up of our team was right in terms of understanding what was required and the pattern needed at home to win games of football.
“Our cohesion and understanding wasn’t there tonight and our passing was laboured and it showed in the performance.
“It wasn’t until we gave Lee Evans a little spell in the quarter of the game that we had a bit of freedom in midfield with Price, McDonald and Ismail in there and Evans got on the ball with a cutback from Ricketts which was probably our best move.
“Then there were two good individual efforts from Leigh Griffiths in the last quarter when we got things right with the width of our full backs and some movement and understanding.
“But there was nowhere near enough overall and Oldham had more shots than us and more clear-cut chances than us and deserved to win the game.”
The crowd of 4,226 was the lowest at Molineux for over 20 years, but Jackett wasn’t looking for any excuses for the team’s subdued performance.
“I don’t think the crowd was a factor,” he said.
“We had talked about it and knew how it was going to be tonight.
“It is up to us to fill the place and to get through rounds of the cups and up the league ladder so that the place is full.
“It is on nights like tonight that you need to do that and we didn’t and Oldham had a better appetite.
“You need to bring the crowds back by winning games of football.
“It was a low crowd but the performances on the pitch and progress into the higher echelons of the league pyramid are going to generate crowds with winning games and better opposition.”
Jackett was also quick to defend goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, whom after a string of top drawer performances this season made a rare error in spilling a difficult shot from Jonson Clarke-Harris for Oldham’s opener.
“I haven’t seen it again as to whether it was a foul,” said the Head Coach.
“My first impressions were that it wasn’t a foul – it just seemed to come off him and I didn’t appeal for it.
“It is not a criticism of Carl Ikeme there because he has had a very good season.
“If he has made a mistake then Carl has made many many saves for us and has been very good.”
Bakary Sako was missing for Wolves with a tight hamstring, and the winger will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s visit of in-form Brentford.
“Sako was missing with a tight hamstring,” Jackett confirmed.
“He missed tonight as a precaution with the problem but don’t know yet whether he’ll be ok for the next few games.”
And Jackett suggested that there hadn’t been too much food for thought offered by the changes made on the night.
“I was disappointed that people didn’t grab their opportunities and I did think we didn’t show enough appetite,” he added.
“There were one or two changes for us and people didn’t necessarily do enough.”