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Keep Looking Forward


16:57 15th November 2012

Boss's eyes on long term development

Boss Ståle Solbakken says Wolves can’t afford to panic whilst introducing a new style of play among the squad – as “turning back the clock” would not be helpful to the long term progress.


A run of six games without a win has brought an end to a promising early season run, but the boss is keen for the players to stick to the more possession-based game which he has introduced.


In doing so he believes it will prepare the club better for life in the top division, if and when Wolves are able to gain promotion.


He said:  “I think we’ll play entertaining football for periods – we want to play attacking, fluent football in every home game when we move the ball.


“But one thing we can’t do is keep the ball well when we kick it long because we haven’t got really big strikers and people to win that second ball.


“Sometimes we’re able to do that, but Kevin Doyle, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and to a certain extent Bjorn Sigurdarson aren’t that type of striker, so they don’t think it’s their game.


“We could play like that – and it would be easy to do – but we shouldn’t forget football is moving on fast-forward now.


“If we maintained that (direct) style of play now, maybe we’d have two, three or four more points than we have – we’ll never know.


“But I do know we’ll only get to a certain level playing that way.


“If we play like I want us to, we can go a lot further, and that’s my perspective on this project.

“If I only looked short term, then I’d let the ‘red line’ go of what I want to see throughout this club and we’d be back to where we started.


“So it’s important to have a calm head now when people start expressing strong opinions, which is also normal and fair too.


“It’s good to have open discussions, but it’s also dangerous to step backwards when we’re seeing we can manage this style we’re playing in some periods.


“We must have high ambitions and I agree with those who say results are the most important thing.


“But if we get carried away or panicked in the situation we’re in now and think we’ve got to do it the easy or quick way, it’s like turning back the clock. So you can’t panic in a way.”


Solbakken’s eye on the future does not however preclude him from knowing he needs to mastermind an upturn in results.


And it’s all about finding the right balance between the short and long term futures.


“We need points and I think we and everyone should demand that from us,” he added.


“But we also have to look long term.


“When you’re the manager of a big club like Wolves the one thing that matters is to get results.


“But for me, as we get results, we must also make progress in other areas.


“That’s about the way we play, the way the football goes and the future, so we can keep up.


“There must also be the ‘red line’ through the club when you talk about how our academy players should be educated.


“For example, if the right back hits the ball up to the big number nine every time and the academy people sit and watch that, it will continue.


“We must not be naïve, and coming from Norway, I’ve been educated in that.


“I played in the Norway national team that was always the underdog and we managed to climb up to the top three in the world and I also had 60 or 70 games in Europe for Copenhagen when we were underdog for the first three years before it changed slightly.


“From being a team which were defending and using counter attacks and setpieces, by the end we were a team who could control the ball and put our stamp on the game.


“That’s also what the players want.


“It’s stupid for me to say at the moment because we haven’t won in six games.


“But if we kick it long every time and the opposition kick it long every time then it’s a lottery for me.


“And I don’t want to be a part of a lottery.


“I want to describe why we’re winning and why we’re losing and that there’s a plan.


“If we stick to the plan and do it well then we win, but if we don’t, we won’t do that good."


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