Gaffer's thoughts after hard-fought derby at Villa
Walter Zenga tonight declared himself happy with Wolves performance in the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa – but “angry and upset” that the team weren’t awarded a penalty for a second half challenge on Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
A number of contentious decisions during a typically hotly-contested derby saw Micah Richards’ challenge on Bodvarsson go unpunished, to the annoyance of the Wolves’ Head Coach.
“I am very angry and upset because we should have had a penalty in the second half,” said Zenga.
“It was clear.
“The game is 90 minutes and there are some moments that can determine a win, a loss or a draw.
“In that moment we were dominating and that penalty would have been at the perfect time at the game.
“We could have gone in front and had a good chance of three points.
“I have seen it again on the video in the locker room and it is a penalty.
“At 2-1 more might have happened in the game but I think that was a big moment.
“The team played a great game in my opinion.
“We played with spirit, attitude and courage.
“Even when we were losing 1-0 we didn’t lose our focus and continued to play and stay compact.
“We kept going with the same attitude.”
Zenga was also asked post match about another controversial incident when Conor Coady and Jack Grealish tangled whilst both on the floor.
He admitted it was difficult for the officials to clearly see that incident at the time it happened.
“I saw a player from their team who I like very much and he is an important player, he kicked Coady on the ground,” he added.
“You can see those kind of things after but at the moment you cannot be sure 100 per cent.
“Because it was like rugby style, one against the other.
“But the penalty, sorry, there is no doubt.
“The referee came over and said ‘Walter, stay calm’, but that was difficult!”
The Head Coach will now be hoping for his team to continue in the same manner as their second half performance, especially with more forward options now at his disposal with the return to fitness of Bodvarsson and Nouha Dicko.
“Dicko is on his way to being fit,” said Zenga.
“He will be important to us because he is player who likes playing in the box and Bodvarsson is a player who goes around the box.
“Costa is also a fantastic player and had a great performance today.
“We have to continue to work in this way and try and have the same performance for a long time and not go up and down from game to game.
“And not have one half good and one half bad.
“We have to find the consistency.
“It is a long season and you never know what can happen in the future.
“You have to continue to give confidence to the team and then we will see.
“It is not easy to say we can get promoted but we work as hard as we can to get this club back to where it wants to be.”
Zenga was also asked about reports suggesting he was under pressure in the build-up to the game after back to back defeats.
“I don’t think there is any coach who isn’t under pressure?” he said.
“Normally I say if I win the game then I have one more week.
“But you cannot say that here because you play Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday!
“If I am not happy to accept this situation then I have to change my job.
“After two months, I think it is ridiculous to talk about these things.
“We are now getting to where we want to be with the team and knowing our best eleven and having all the players in good condition.
“The players did everything right today and what I request now is the same again at Brighton on Tuesday.
“This doesn’t mean we can definitely win, but that we can make a good performance.
“And that is what the Wolves fans want to see.”