A late goal by former Wolves midfielder Mark Davies ensured an entertaining Molineux draw which was illuminated by Kevin Doyle’s first-half brace – and the manager was keen to set the record straight afterwards.
“There was no plan to sit deep, absolutely not,” he said. “We were pressurised. We have to take into consideration that Bolton are a very good side and have two players in midfield, (Mark) Davies and Spearing, who are good with the ball.
“We have to pay tribute to the other team, although we lost the ball a little too much. We were pushed backwards and had to defend for long periods.
“Some players were tired and I made some changes to try to get back in the game. We had one great chance, for Bjorn, and the game would have been dead with that. But 2-2 was a fair result, I think, when you look at the possession and chances.
“We were under big pressure for a while but it wasn’t like the Derby match. We played a bad game then but, tonight, we played well for long spells.”
Ståle was highly pleased with the reaction to Wolves falling behind early for the second successive game, his side quickly turning the deficit into a 2-1 lead.
There was delight, too, that the goals that transformed the game came from Doyle, who made up for his misfortune over several weeks of 2012-13 by netting twice in barely two minutes shortly before the half-hour.
“It was a very good first half, when we were by far the better team and Bolton had only one chance,” Ståle added.
“It was a very good ball by Sako for the first and they were two very good striker goals. I’m glad he got a couple of goals but I don’t think confidence was a problem for him (previously).
“We could and should have done better when we had a lead so late in the game. We really struggled with the rhythm in the second half and I have said all along Bolton have the best squad in the division; they are a very good side.
“It was one of the best games I have seen in the Championship for the quality of football. We ruled the first half and they ruled the second.”
Jermaine Pennant’s home debut earned an overall thumbs-up, with the manager pointing to some tiredness following two games in four days and predicting the on-loan Stoke winger would ‘grow with more matches under his belt.’
There was no sign of former Wolves striker, Dougie Freedman in the ground after reports that he had been appointed as Bolton’s new manager earlier in the day.
Caretaker boss Jimmy Phillips said the timing of the announcement, of which there was no confirmation from the Reebok Stadium, was not ideal on a match-day afternoon.
He also said he expected to be preparing the side for Saturday’s game at Middlesbrough.