Barry Douglas admits the final few minutes of Wolves’ 2017/18 clash at Cardiff City was some of the most chaotic football he has ever been involved in.
The wing-back looked back at one of the most memorable meetings between the two sides, which ultimately secured Wolves’ Championship title, with Mikey Burrows and Chris Iwelumo on the first edition of Old Gold Club: Big Match Revisited.
Premiering on Wolves’ official YouTube channel at 8pm on Monday evening, the first episode of the new series will see Douglas, Ruben Neves and John Ruddy reflect on a rather incredible evening in south Wales.
On one of the best games he’s played in
“For heart palpitations, it was; definitely. Throughout that whole season I don’t think we ever got nervous before any of the games, it was more a positive energy and a belief. It was like a hunger to go and get playing.
“I think there was a lot of emphasis going into that game – from the media and expectations – about what it could potentially mean, but for us, it was just another game that we wanted to get on with as quickly as possible.”
On the last five minutes at Cardiff
“Chaos. Chaos would be putting it politely. My heartrate was going through the roof.
“It was a kick in the teeth to have the penalty given so late on after the work we had done throughout the game, but as weird as it sounds, we were quietly confident. We just had that winning belief and mentality.
“Even though they had the penalty we thought that we’re not out of this and even the way the boys rallied together for the few minutes after that as well just shows the spirit and endeavour that was there and instilled in us all that season.”
On implementing Nuno’s style
“Credit needs to go to the players that we brought in because you need to have the players to fit that philosophy and that style of play. We did that brilliantly and I think that’s why we did so well.
“The players also need to buy into it and in one of the first pre-season trips we went to Austria and Nuno pulled ‘Coads’ aside – who was a defensive midfielder playing right-back at the time – and he said ‘you’re going to play in the middle of my back-three’ and ‘Coads’ was a bit taken back. He said ‘gaffer, I play right back, or centre-mid’, but Nuno was like ‘no, this is where you’re going to play and you’re going to start our attacks’.
“Obviously, he had a plan in mind and implemented it perfectly.”
On his responsibilities as a wing-back
“Nuno told me and ‘Doc’ that we’re going to play on the front foot and we’re going to be a forward-thinking team, first and foremost.
“We were wing-backs so we need to do our defensive duties first, but when we got the ball he wanted us to be high and really get involved in the attacks and for me, I’m a forward-thinking player, so it was great to have that freedom to go and play and get involved, knowing there was the security behind that if it does break down, there’s people there.
“I think that’s why we played with such freedom to go and create and go and help.”
On the winning free-kick
“I knew Ruben had it in his locker as well, so I said ‘ok, you can have this one’.
“Whenever we could, if there was some time left at the end of the session to practice some set pieces then we would train on them. It was usually Friday when we would do some set-pieces and test our range for the game on the Saturday.
“I think I was better in training, but Ruben was better in the games. It’s the things that people don’t see that go on behind the scenes that allows you to go on and put one in the onion bag like Ruben did.
“However, I’m going to take credit for his goal though, because when you watch it back, the wall had crept forward and I said to Mike Dean, who was the ref that day, ‘make sure they don’t creep forward this time because they did it last time’, and he said ‘I tell you what, I’ll give you 11 yards’, and if you watch him, he counts it out to 11.
“After Ruben scores, he turns to me and says ‘there you go’.”
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