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Saunders Rues Turning Points


19:14 26th January 2013

Boss reflects on disappointing day

Boss Dean Saunders was left reflecting on some key turning points after a disappointing Molineux afternoon saw him suffer his first Wolves defeat against Blackpool.

A promising first half including an excellent well-worked goal from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was coming to an end when Blackpool equalised, Tom Ince taking advantage of a mix-up between Carl Ikeme and Roger Johnson.

And after Ebanks-Blake had been denied by the legs of visiting keeper Matt  Gilks in the second half, it was Ince who popped up with an impressive winner 12 minutes from time.

“It looked good for 44 minutes,” said Saunders.

“I thought we played well first half, got some good balls into the box and scored a brilliant goal.

“If we’d have got a second goal I think we could have gone on and had a comfortable afternoon.

“But we gave them a lifeline right on half time by conceding a goal from a catastrophic mistake.

“It was a mix-up between Roger and Carl and Ince has gone in there and poked it in the net.

“I think both the players involved have got to deal with it with either Roger clearing it or Carl diving on it.

“I’ve got to try and stop those things happening because they have been happening for a long time.

“I thought in the second half we started the better team again and played well for a patch and would get the breakthrough.

“It nearly came when Sylvan got a chance right in the middle of the goal where nine times out of ten he’d put it away and we win 2-1.

“It was a great chance but then the game went the other way – football is all about fine margins and it’s not a good result for us.

“I’d spoken all week about Tom Ince coming inside on his left foot and had said to the players all week to show him on his outside.

“But for the winner he’s come inside two of them and got a shot off.

“I haven’t seen it again and don’t know whether he did Carl for pace but they end up winning the game when I thought we were the better team.

“It’s not a good result for us but I thought we performed well in the first half and could have won the game.

“The goal right on half time knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit.”

Wolves’ plans for the game were hampered when Stephen Ward had to withdraw just before kick off after ricking his neck during the warm-up, highlighting the fact he is the only senior left back at the club.

“We came in today and the plans went sideways a little bit when Wardy has ricked his neck in the warm-up,” said the boss.

“We’ve only got one experienced left back available at the moment.

“And then with five minutes before the game we’ve got to change it – we didn’t know that was going to happen.,

“Kevin Foley has gone to left back and Peszko, who has been ill this week, comes into the team.

“We’d been working as a back four on stopping them and preparing for their front three end up having to change it around just before kick off which killed us a little bit.

“We had to change all the set plays and all the markers and it threw us a little bit and within five minutes of the kick off I was thinking that doesn’t look right.

“We still came out and played well and our system was working with Sako and Peszko getting a lot of the ball.

“But we gave them a goal at the wrong time – we gave them the game really.”

When asked about Johnson’s injury-time sending off, the manager admitted he hadn’t seen it again and was purely going off his first viewing.

But he felt it was harsh.

“We were trying to get an equaliser and Roger was breaking to get forward and the lad has fouled him to stop him doing that,” said Saunders.

“Roger has ended up trying to shrug him off and grabbing him by the shoulder I think and threw him to the ground.

“It was a foul on Roger and the ref could probably have booked the lad for the foul and booked Roger and given us a free kick.

“That’s what I saw from the side of the pitch and I’ll have to have another look but on first glance I think the referee made a mistake.

“I asked in there if he threw a punch and the answer was no.”

With five days remaining before the closure of the January transfer window Saunders revealed there may still be business to be done if Wolves can find the right targets.

And he says he learned more about his team in defeat than had they won this afternoon.

“I’ve got to try and do something,” said Saunders, who would like to reduce the squad size but says he does not have to sell before he can buy.

“Maybe it needs a few new players – it can always improve.

“I’ve got nearly 40 players here and have come in with the transfer window open and have got to assess them all as quickly as possible.

“Sometimes a defeat can make your mind up and things can stand out.

“We’ve got four or five days now and if there are players who I think can help us and they’re available I’m sure we will try and do that.

“If we’d have won 3-0 you end up not realising the things that may have been wrong for two or three years.

“There are a lot of little mistakes going on out there which I can see.

“I can then realise that we need this or we need that or we can do this better.

“I am the fourth manager here in a short time and have told the players they have got to roll their sleeves up.

 “All of them have just got to do a bit more and there are basic errors going on all over the pitch.

“I will give the players the chance to put them right and if they don’t then I will get new players to do it.

“We’ve got one experienced left back at the club, six or seven  right backs, two experienced strikers and then young lads Jake and Bjorn. 

“We’ve got a few imbalances in the squad.

“I have told the players we could have won the game 2-1 and all the problems we have got will have got swept under the carpet.

“I will probably learn more from what happened in losing the game because these things have been going on for a long time.”

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