Gaffer's thoughts after impressive win at Blues
Walter Zenga tonight dedicated Wolves’ derby win at Birmingham City to the club’s supporters.
Having gone in after a hard-fought first half a goal behind, Wolves produced a stunning second half to hit back with goals from Joe Mason, Danny Batth and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to run out 3-1 winners.
That makes it two wins and two draws from the first four games of the season ahead of next weekend’s visit to table-topping Huddersfield Town.
“It was a great victory and an amazing reaction from the players and from the fans,” said Zenga.
“The players played with their hearts and their minds, and with passion.
“We went a goal behind and I always say to the players they have to stay inside the game and even if you concede one goal your concentration and your mind has to keep going and you have to fight.
“You have to be confident and keep going to play well and that is what they did even when we were behind.
“And I thought in the first half we deserved to score at least one goal, but in the second half the performance was amazing.
“I had told them at half time that they had done well in the first half so they shouldn’t lose their confidence and continue to do what we were doing during the week in training.
“And that the chances to score would come, and Mason scored an amazing goal.
“Everything starts from your mind and I think all of the team played well.
“And when the team plays well everything comes together.
“The movement of the attacking players was great and our defenders limited them to few chances.
“This game is for the fans, and this victory is for our fans.
“With the enthusiasm they are showing we can work hard to create something together.
“The fans have welcomed me from the first day like I had been here for a long time.
“They make me happy all of the time and while this game is only three points, I know it is a derby and for the fans it is very important.
“So I am happy for them and we dedicate this victory to them.”
Mason, who had gone close on several occasions in the first half, and Bodvarsson were again among the scorers, and Zenga was pleased not only with them but also the whole team.
“I told Mason not to be sad at missing chances,” he explains.
“The important thing for him is to arrive and be on the end of those chances.
“There is no one who never makes a mistake.
“In football it is always the keeper and the coach who make most mistakes – and I have been both. How clever am I?!!
“Mason kept going and he came out in the second half and scored an amazing goal.
“Jon only arrived here five days before the start of the season at Rotherham.
“He has scored two and could have scored another against Ipswich.
“He is a fantastic player and a person because he is working for the team.
“I repeated to him to stay in front of goal and get his chances.
“When players play well like him, or Mason, or Coady, it is because the team is playing well.
“If the team together play in the right way then the quality players always have a chance.
“And don’t forget we have on the bench players like Teixeira and Costa – today they rest because it is my choice but we have them available.”
But Zenga was certainly not getting carried away with the manner of Wolves’ start to the season, and knows there is a very long way to go!
“We need a squad like this and need to rotate the players so the team is always at 100 per cent – and the players understand that,” he added.
“If we do that I think we can do something important.
“This was a great win but now we have to come back in tomorrow and start thinking immediately about Cambridge.
“We come back in tomorrow for training with a smile on our face ahead of the game against Tuesday.
“My vision is still to see Molineux full.
“We are only at the start of our journey, and we are on a marathon.
“It is a long season and we just need to keep going with what we are doing and show the same effort and then maybe we can do something.
“You need to be in the right way all the time.
“I have said that we are still working to improve the squad as would normally be done in pre-season but we are now in the season.
“So however many points come in August was fantastic – five points, six points, eight points, 11 points – we would take these points like gold.
“And then we start again after the internationals with a new attitude.”
In terms of potential new faces to the squad, Zenga added: “We still want to improve the squad.
“At this moment we still only have four defenders and two senior strikers.
“If we keep all of them without injury it will be a miracle over the long season.
“The squad needs to be balanced so we can have a choice and be able to play in different ways.
“If we don’t have the numbers of the players people need to play in positions that are not their normal positions.”
And Zenga is certainly enjoying his early taste of Wolves and the Sky Bet Championship.
“I am not just enjoying it here, I am super happy with this experience,” he says.
“I have watched the Championshp and Premier League and it was my dream to come here and work here.
“The five games we have had so far is exactly what I expected.
“It is a new experience to be playing so many games but I have to say thanks to everyone at the club for helping me.”