Kenny Jackett said Wolves paid the price for not creating enough chances against Walsall as derby defeat left them on the wrong end of a league result for the first time this season.
A run of five successive victories in Sky Bet League One came to a disappointing end as Andy Butler’s second half header won it for the Saddlers, with Wolves unable to work keeper Richard O’Donnell enough in the hunt for an equaliser.
The Wolves Head Coach acknowledged his team weren’t quite on their game with their passing and creativity, as they were edged out by the single goal.
“Going forward we weren’t quite there tonight,” said Jackett.
“I thought the first half was even and then in the second we had all of the territorial advantage but didn’t really turn it into enough chances.
“Did we do enough with the ball in the second half? Probably not. And that’s something we have to keep working on and keep addressing.
“I didn’t think we had particularly good width tonight and played through the middle and were then disappointed to lose to a set piece when our marking on the far post wasn’t good enough.
“Our passing through the midfield needs to improve and our midfield play needs to improve and I think it can improve.
“Our link play can improve and get our wide players involved although the two lads down the left look like they are getting quite a good partnership going.
“We didn’t carve out enough openings and create enough clear-cut chances.
“Having said that there have been a number of tight games this season that we have just edged and tonight was a tight game that Walsall edged.
“After those wins we have been very happy to have come through but obviously after this one we are disappointed.
“Our task now – my task now – is to make sure we are better than that and that we can consistently win.”
Jackett made a couple of changes shortly after the break introducing Kevin Foley and Leigh Griffiths for Lee Evans and Kevin McDonald.
He felt it did lead to improvement in terms of freeing Doyle up to drop deeper and become more involved, but still felt the players needed to show more creativity in terms of fashioning openings.
He added: “I felt that Kevin Doyle got into the game a bit more in the second half.
“He had a good header in the first half when the keeper made a good save but he came more into the game when he came deeper in the second half after Griffiths had come on.
“He did come in and link the play quite well.
“That is the type of play that you need to bring the Sako’s and the Golbourne’s and Doherty’s from deep into the game.
“In terms of the centre of our midfield I felt we needed some experience in there with Kevin Foley because at times we were struggling.
“But we needed to test the keeper more in the second half.
“We had a lot of play in the second half, the lion’s share of it, but didn’t work their keeper enough or hit the target enough with our shots.
“Our play wasn’t quite inventive enough and we didn’t make the right selections.
“It was our first blank since the Preston game and we don’t want any more of those.
“Maybe there was a bit of nervousness in the midfield and in the second half when we got Kevin Doyle deeper we still didn’t up our creation of clear cut chances and ability one-on-one to go past our men.
“In the opposition half you need to be able to go past your man one-on-one and take him out of the game and unfortunately we lacked that.
“Walsall edged it with a set piece and did a very good job on us defensively - they sat deep and we couldn’t break them down.
“They didn’t surprise us – the two sides know each other very well having played each other a fortnight ago.
“In the second half they sat deep, broke on us and got a questionable set piece but you still have to defend it and they came up with a well-worked goal.”
Jackett was also under no illusions about how the Wolves fans would be feeling after the first league defeat of the season arrived courtesy of their Black Country neighbours in front of a crowd of over 22,000.
And he said the focus must immediately turn to putting things right in another derby – Saturday’s trip to Shrewsbury (1pm).
“We understand how the fans will be feeling,” said Jackett.
“There is never a circumstance where you want to lose a game, and this was a local derby.
“All we can do now is make sure we bounce back on Saturday and that is what we will be looking to do.”