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Saunders Rues Mistakes


18:53 24th February 2013

Boss reflects on Cardiff defeat

Boss Dean Saunders was tonight rueing two “catastrophic mistakes” and a squandered late chance as Wolves finished up on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat to league leaders Cardiff.

Fraizer Campbell’s brace – a goal in each half following a set piece – put Cardiff in control before Bakary Sako’s deflected free kick 20 minutes from time, but Sylvan Ebanks Blake’s late miss failed to complete the comeback after an improved second half display.

Defeat made it 12 games without a win in all competitions for Wolves, leaving them still occupying the npower Championship’s bottom three ahead of Friday’s visit of Cardiff’s nearest pursuers Watford.

“We were playing the top of the league today and had the better chances but we didn’t take them,” said the boss.

“They have scored from set plays and things we have talked about so it is two mistakes really.

“When you are a coach and you walk through things on the training pitch including the long throw from Gunnarsson you want everyone to mark properly.

“But the flick-on comes and Fraizer Campbell runs in and scores and that drives you mad as a coach and makes matters worse.

“We’d showed it on the DVD and it’s one of those goals that keeps you awake as a manager.

“Normally with long throws the goals are from a flick on as there is only really Rory Delap who can throw the ball right in there.

“So the most important people are the players at the back or in the middle – all they have got to do is mark their men.

“Don’t ball watch or drift into a space – grab hold of your man and get close to him and make sure he doesn’t get in front of you.

“I said all that yesterday and it happened, but apart from that they’ve not had any chances in the first half at all.

“We contained them and they had lots of possession which they were always going to have but in the second half came out the better team.

“We got back in the game and looked like we were going to score.

“Again we didn’t take our chances and made a mistake for the second goal.

“Carl (Ikeme) will be first to hold his hands up and nine times out of ten he’d have come and caught that.

“We replied straightaway and then Sylvan misses an open goal for 2-2.

“I’ve told Sylvan I missed a few of them but at least he was in the right place – put another ten crosses in and he scores nine of them. 

“If that goes in with ten minutes left we could have gone on and won the game.

“We made two catastrophic mistakes, and it’s just not going for us at the moment but we’ve got to make things happen quickly.”

The boss was asked about the change in formation which saw the use of three centre backs in the first half and young players Jack Robinson and Matt Doherty as full backs.

A double switch at half time then saw Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle enter the fray with Danny Batth and Tongo Doumbia substituted.

“We were playing against top of the league with two Premier League strikers and two quick wide players,” he said.

“We hadn’t won for 11 games, and I tried something different.

“They got possession but they didn’t get a chance really apart from the goal and we had two great chances at the other end.

“They didn’t have a chance against us in the first half and they are top of the league and have scored loads of goals.

“Once we went a goal down I had to change it and took a defender and midfielder off and put two strikers on in Sylvan and Kevin.

“To be fair we turned the game around and got after them.

“We got the ball forward and pushed them back but didn’t take our chances.

“We came back but we were gambling then and had to risk leaving Campbell and Bellamy up there.

“We did it because we had to and they scored a second goal from a mistake.”

The boss continued:  “It was our third game in eight days and I put some fresh legs into the team.

“I don’t think anyone could have any arguments with that when we’ve gone so long without a win.

“The two young lads played well but Danny didn’t do anything wrong but I brought him off at half time with bringing two strikers on.

“The two strikers who came on – Sylvan and Kevin – reacted well.

“But we all know we need a win.”

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