Kenny Jackett was pleased with a point from Wolves’ first game of the season at Preston – but still wants more from his new team particularly with their creativity.
Wolves came through a tough opening day test at Deepdale with a clean sheet in a goalless draw, despite losing three players – Richard Stearman, Dave Edwards and George Elokobi – to injury during the game.
Wolves created the game’s better opportunities – particularly from Bakary Sako and Leigh Griffiths in the first half – but Jackett will be looking for more in the final third as the season kicks on.
“It was a very good test for us today against a team I have got a lot of respect for and who are a tremendous club in their own right,” said Jackett.
“I don’t think either side did enough to win the game and a draw was a fair result.
“They have got some presence in their team and an attacking threat from set pieces especially through Kevin Davies.
“Kevin is an experienced player and a leader for them and I thought our centre halves played him well.
“Danny (Batth) had a good game and probably in terms of our players was maybe the pick.
“Defensively we handled them well and going forward we probably didn’t do enough and we could be better on the ball than we were.
“We got in good positions down the field but didn’t let our quality show and the game petered out a bit towards the end.
“I was pleased with the clean sheet which we haven’t had in pre-season and pleased not to get beaten but there is more to come from us.
“So it’s not a bad day – it’s a work in progress and we battled well.
“We have to look at where we are and now to try to improve and that is always the case however you play.
“At times our selection on the ball was wrong and that is where our improvement needs to be – going forward.
“We got into some good positions and during pre-season have done better in those situations.
“There are certain areas we are looking to improve going into playing Morecambe on Tuesday.”
Wolves will have to make further assessment on the injured trio – Stearman (hamstring), Edwards (ankle) and Elokobi (groin) – with those changes meaning Jackett’s hands were tied in terms of his substitutions.
“We lost three players through injury which was quite unusual and we’ll have to see how they all settle down,” said Jackett.
“I’m not using it as an excuse or anything but it’s quite unusual to lose three players like that.
“The shape of the team was ok but disrupted three times during the game and had to use those subs instead of being able to do something else.
“From having nothing in pre-season we have had three today and I’m just glad we didn’t get another and go down to ten!
“We will see how they are but Tuesday could be a quick turnaround.”
Jackett was impressed with both the numbers and noise made by Wolves support, over 4,900 fans never letting up from the moment the players warmed up to applauding them off the pitch at full time.
“It was great to see so many fans there today and myself and all the players were very appreciative,” he said.
“It’s a massive boost to see that – they got right behind us and cheered us right the way through to the end.”
Jackett will now continue to assess and develop the team, aiming to find a settled side as quickly as possible, albeit affected by today’s injuries.
“Our team and our pattern has to settle into a comfortable one and a creative one which can open sides up and score goals,” he said.
“It needs to settle but it needs to do that as quickly as possible.
“There were two players who started at Brighton who started today so there have been a lot of changes.
“There are also players with a point to prove, young players mainly who are trying to make their way in the game in a Wolves shirt.
“We have to set the standard at the start of the season.
“This was a new start and a good point but I think there is more to come from us.”