A Decent Point
Kenny Jackett was pleased with a point from a tightly-contested local derby with Birmingham City after a lively goalless draw at Molineux.
Wolves shaded the first half with George Saville bringing a save out of Tomasz Kuszczak but Blues took control in the second and created several good chances, Carl Ikeme also producing a fine save to deny the returning midfielder David Davis.
There were also penalty appeals at both ends on Clayton Donaldson and Kortney Hause but ultimately no breakthrough with the game finishing 0-0.
“It is a decent point for us,” said Jackett.
“We had the first half and Birmingham had the second.
“You need to score when you have your good spells and momentum but generally we have given too many goals away at home and there have been too many games when we have conceded two or three.
“And it needs to be zeros and ones which is what Birmingham have done this season and I have a lot of respect for what they have done.
“In the second half the standard of our passing through the thirds didn’t get us up the pitch enough like it done in the first when we had spells when we put them under pressure.
“We went deep in the second half and couldn’t get out and Carl made a very good save from David Davis and the two centre halves made crucial interceptions in and around the box.
“The best opportunity in the game probably came from the long throw from Grounds which fell to Toral.
“Their experience and know-how was slightly better than ours, particularly in that second period when they opened the game up.
“They had killed the game well for the first hour and then caused us problems in the last period which was good game management and showed good experience.
“The substitution with Maghoma giving Iorfa some problems also pushed us back as well.
“It was a typical local derby, always tight, and the first goal was always going to be a big thing.
“If you can’t go on and win the game you have to make sure you don’t lose it and that has happened to us too many times this season.
“While we always want to win and 0-0 at home isn’t what we want we have lost a lot of those types of games this season when teams have frustrated us and then turned the screw later in the game when it opens up.
“With the way things went in the second half I am not displeased with the point – we stuck at it and made sure we got a clean sheet which we haven’t got enough of at home this season.”
Jackett, who revealed Adam Le Fondre was left out of the 18 for tactical reasons, was asked about keeping Michal Zyro back until half time and then keeping Joe Mason on the bench until five minutes from time.
“We felt, and the opinion of the medical people as well, is that he (Zyro) needs to come off the bench at the moment,” said Jackett.
“When he first came in he played three games in eight days and made a big impact but then sustained a calf injury.
“Short-term we need him but long term we know he has the ability to be a very good player for us.
“We need to make sure he doesn’t break down and can go on and make a real impact.
“He had a good shot on the turn when he came on but I don’t think he had his full energy in the game which is to be expected.
“It was crossing my mind to make the (Mason) change but I also felt that in terms of the set pieces us defending as a unit and the organisation was going to be vital.
“So many derby games are decided by a set piece and the best chance of the game came from a long throw from Grounds when we didn’t really pick up the second ball.
“Making sure we had our defensive set-up was very important and finishing with Sigurdarson, Mason and Zyro as a front-line was something that could drive them back because at the time they were in the ascendancy in the game.
“It has been difficult for us to get to two up front which I think Mason needs.
“We have players coming back and Zyro at full fitness and starting and those are key elements for us in terms of the forward positions and finding the goals that we need.
“We have lost a lot of goals from the team, even in recent weeks with James Henry and Dave Edwards who are capable of scoring.
“We need to find a new equation to find goals and I am sure Joe will be part of that.”
Wolves now sit in 12th position in the table with nine Sky Bet Championship games remaining, and Jackett believes it is important to continue trying to make progress with a young and hard-working squad.
“If you look at our outfield players it is a young team, gaining experience and looking to improve,” he explained.
“You can see how hard the players are working and sticking at it and that is very important as we try to develop a new side.
“They are a good group and a hard-working group which have a very good future.
“It is a case of whether the glass is half empty or half full.
“We have to recognise the strengths that we have, the age of the group and those players being able to improve.
“We have a big group around 22, 23, 24 years old – that is where our group is which are good ages for development – and then we have senior players to come back in James Henry, Dave Edwards and Mike Williamson who will help us.
“But responsibility, drive and opportunity for the players that we have is a big thing as we work through this period to become a successful team.”
We stuck at it and made sure we got a clean sheet which we haven’t got enough of at home this season