Christophe Berra believes Wolves have plenty of improvement to come under new boss Dean Saunders after battling out a goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
Saunders has already gone on record to indicate his first priority was making Wolves hard to beat, and his first two games in charge have both ended in draws with the team not yet conceding from open play.
Once the solid base is secured, the manager is keen to see Wolves being more creative in attack, and Berra believes that progress will come once the players and new regime are fully adapted to each other.
“The manager has got a work ethic, we defend from the front, and if you don’t do it then you are not in the team,” said the Scot.
“We defend from the front and are solid and covering more – there are more demands on the players.
“So far we’ve not played as much pretty football as we’d have wanted but we’ve done that in the past and got beat.
“It wasn’t pretty on Saturday but we’ve come away with a point and a clean sheet and another day we might have nicked a goal.
“Earlier in the season we may have approached the game differently rather than rolling up our sleeves and fighting the battle first before hoping the quality comes through.
“I think there were periods towards the end of the first half and in the second when we did start to link up with some decent movement but just couldn’t get a shot on goal in the final third.
“But we are going in the right direction.
“Training has been very lively and we’ve only had a week-and-a-half really so it will take another couple of weeks before we get up to full steam with the way the manager wants us to play.”
Berra admits it was a tough game for the Wolves back-line given the Owls’ combination of power and pace up front, but despite plenty of possession the hosts only really overly exerted Carl Ikeme once in the first half.
“It was a difficult game,” admitted Berra.
“They are a very big team and we were made to defend for the majority of the game.
“We rode our luck at times but it’s a good clean sheet especially against a team who were putting the ball in behind us constantly and on a difficult pitch.
“If we hadn’t conceded that penalty against Blackburn we’d have had two clean sheets in a row.
“We are building a foundation and hopefully we can push on with a home game next week and get three points.
“Whatever league you are in, going away from home is difficult and that is particularly the case in the Championship.
“They were just outside the bottom three and we’re not far off.
“It was the hardest I have had to defend for a long time – it’s unpredictable, the ball is going behind you and the pitch is bobbly.
“When you’re running back towards your own goal sometimes it’s a case of just putting it in the stand but it’s pleasing to get a clean sheet.
“Maybe if things had gone our way we could have even snuck it at the end if the ball had dropped to Jake from a ricochet.
“Away from home, 0-0 and a clean sheet – as a defender it’s pleasing.”
With 18 games remaining Wolves are in 17th position in the npower Championship, perhaps torn between whether a run can propel them towards the top six but also making sure they don’t get dragged any further in the opposite direction.
Berra is keen to take a positive approach.
“We’ve got 18 games to go and it’s a fresh start under the new management team including Brian (Carey) and Mal (Purchase),” he added.
“With a fresh start everyone has just got that little bit more energy and enthusiasm.
“We just want to try and stay unbeaten for as long as possible and of course start picking up wins.
“If we could get two or three wins in a row we could be right up there because there is not much in it.
“If we could get a bit of momentum at the right time it will be a step forward.
“With a new manager it might take time but we will do our best to try and get a run together and see if we can reach the play-offs.
“If not I am sure the gaffer will be better placed to know what he wants and make a few changes and it will be all systems go next season.”