Ikeme taking the positives from thriller at the Villa
We’ve set the standard – Carl Ikeme is confident Wolves can repeat the performance levels shown against Aston Villa on Saturday and start to produce the sort of consistent run that will see them climb the Sky Bet Championship table.
Wolves left Villa Park disappointed to have taken only a draw from Saturday’s game, and also aggrieved at several refereeing decisions, including a second half penalty appeal when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was bundled to the ground.
But the Birmingham-born keeper Ikeme is keen to take the positives and ensure Wolves continue to reach those same levels again, starting at Brighton tomorrow (7.45pm).
“I am happy and disappointed at the same time,” said Ikeme.
“I thought we were really good in the game and we’re disappointed not to have won.
“We dominated the majority of the game and had some good chances but couldn’t stick them away.
“It was a great performance with a lot of positives to take.
“I think it was a good game for any fan to watch – a proper derby with a great atmosphere.
“Sometimes it can be a bit cagey in these games but this one was exciting to play in and there was a lot of drama and controversy and a few tackles flying in.
“And in the second half we dominated from start to finish.
“We have to take that into the rest of our season, starting with Brighton on Tuesday.
“We are always confident, and confident in the players that we have got, but it is about being consistent.
“We showed consistency through the game on Saturday and have to take that into these next two games.
“We have shown signs of being a good team and if we can show some consistency we can start moving up that table.
“We need to show this every week and put performances and results together back to back.”
Ikeme admits that given Aston Villa’s status and the fact it was the first game under new manager Steve Bruce, Wolves were expecting a tough game.
It certainly was that, and a typical derby, but the keeper, who had very little to do in the second half, was delighted with the way Wolves coped with the challenge.
“Coming to a place like Villa you are always going to be under pressure for parts of the game,” he added.
“But I think we coped with it well.
“I think we probably shaded the first half as well – we played a lot of the game in their half of the pitch and looked comfortable.
“Testament to Villa they stayed in it and fought to the end and I think it was a good derby for people to watch.
“Villa are a top team who will turn around sooner rather than later and yet I thought we were dominant and just needed to put those chances away.
“If we’d been asked at the start we’d probably have taken a point but to play like that and not come away with all three is a bit disappointing.
“It is hard to be too disappointed when we have played so well and we just have to carry it on now.
“We have set the standards and while every game is different and we can’t dominate we need to show the same level of performance.
“If we do that we will win more games than we lose.”
Ikeme continued: “I was pleased with the saves I made in the first half and in the second it was fairly quiet for me – that’s the way I like it!
“You probably concentrate a little bit more in those situations because you always think something is going to happen.
“You always have to stay concentrated but in the end that chance didn’t really come for them.
“We were comfortable at the back and on another day could have won by two or three.”