Paul Lambert on finding the right blend and tomorrow's trip to Forest
Paul Lambert says it is always going to take time for Wolves blend of youth and creative flair to adapt and thrive in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Head Coach says the second half at Cardiff on Tuesday was the worst display since he arrived at the helm, and far cry from the exhilarating second 45 shown against Fulham just three days earlier.
Ups and downs are going to be part of such a much-changed squad, but Lambert also knows his team have plenty to offer going forward, as shown in the games against QPR and Fulham.
"With the new lads it’s a matter of them adapting to the game and it can take time,” says Lambert.
"Probably Helder Costa's adapted better than most of the lads, Ivan Cavaleiro’s adjusting to it. You need to give them time, it’s not a quick fix.
"The problem is when you have an influx of players that don’t know the league playing Saturday – Tuesday – Saturday – Tuesday becomes tough.
"I’ve had a chat with the lads and they recognise that as well.
"If I could have changed maybe one or two more (on Tuesday) I’d have done that.
"Young players will make mistakes.
"There aren’t many experienced ones here – Carl Ikeme and David Edwards are great pros and then you’re down to Danny Batth who’s mid-20s. It’s not the most experienced squad at all.
"When you have that and bring in lads that don’t know the league it will take time to adapt.
"You see it at clubs like Manchester United. It’s hard.
"This league, you’ve got to be able to go Saturday and Tuesday and be robust.
“They’ll get that, it’ll come, the more football they play and the longer they’re here.
"Going forward we’re definitely a threat and look exciting. If we can get that and with a couple of guys that can give them a hand it’ll bode well for the future."
Wolves travel to Nottingham Forest tomorrow (3pm) with a sellout away following, with Lambert expecting a different game to that experienced in midweek.
"It’ll be a different game because Cardiff play a different way to most of the teams in the league," he added.
"I went to Forest on Wednesday night. Preston were very good in the first half and Forest came back into it in the second half.
"It’ll be a tough game but the City Ground is a great place to play – it’s a terrific playing surface and I’m looking forward to the game.
"The second half the other night was probably the worst since I’ve been here.
"Tuesday night was poor but the lads felt it themselves, the drain from Saturday to Tuesday.
"The squad’s unbalanced and that needs to be addressed. You might need to take a hit and for them to be inconsistent, because they’re young, which has happened.
"The good thing for me is we’re starting games a lot better than we were.
"We look an exciting team going forward but we have to do it for 90 minutes."
The Head Coach will check on a couple of knocks before deciding on his line-up for the game.
He is hopeful Carl Ikeme will be fit after his recent calf problem, but has again paid tribute to the form of Harry Burgoyne over the last two games.
Helder Costa will be assessed having come off at half time at Cardiff.
Also on a positive note Mike Williamson and Joe Mason are expected to make their returns from injury as over-age players with the Under-23s against West Ham at Telford on Monday night.
Going forward we’re definitely a threat and look exciting