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Keeping Focus


09:15 10th December 2012

Boss not looking at league table

Boss Ståle Solbakken is not going to suddenly start studying the npower Championship league table after Wolves’ back-to-back victories – because “it is still not good reading.”

Wolves moved within five points of the play-off places courtesy of Saturday’s 1-0 win against Birmingham, but the boss is demanding focus remains on performances rather than looking too far ahead.

“I think we need to concentrate on our own performances and not look so much at the table,” he said.

“We have had back-to-back wins but we have two difficult away games to come against Middlesbrough and Blackpool.

“I think it’s better to focus on those games instead of looking at the table.

“For a whole I think we should concentrate on our performances because the table is still not good reading.

“If we can get anything out of those two away games because we have the home games over Christmas then that will be good.

“But in this division I don’t talk about the opposition or whether you are home or away any more – anything can happen!”

Bakary Sako proved the star of the show in the second half against Birmingham – even though Wolves failed to add to the first half breakthrough in which his wicked free kick was turned into his own net by Marlon King.

But the whole of the front four again proved dangerous, with Björn Sigurdarson continuing to threaten in an unfamiliar right midfield position and Kevin Doyle dropping deep to pick up the ball and regularly running at the Blues defence.

“When you play with Sigurdarson and Sako on the flanks then Doyle has a bigger responsibility defensively to drop in otherwise we will be vulnerable,” the boss explains.

“That is needed for our own shape because those two are more attack-minded than Pennant and Peszko in terms of their positionining.

“They may be five or seven metres too high sometimes so it is important for our shape that Doyle drops back.

“He has a lot of energy and he does that very well.

“Björn came more into the pitch as well during the game and they struggled to keep up with our pace in the second half.

“He struggled a bit with his positioning in the first half and he’s not used to playing there but in the second half he didn’t think about it so much and played more off his instinct.”

There was also a more promising display from midfielder Tongo Doumbia, after he was taken out of the firing line against Bristol City and given a special fitness programme to try and engineer a return to the energetic displays which characterised his first impressions at Molineux.

But the boss believes he still has more to offer.

“Tongo was certainly better than before he went away,” says Solbakken.

“He had more power although there is still a little way to go.

“It’s not been a holiday – it was another training programme and he was able to see his family for a little while.

“He was much better today but still not where he was at the beginning of the season.

“I think we took him off at the right time of the game as well.”

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