A Perfect Response

Gaffer's thoughts after impressive Wolves win

Walter Zenga said his team provided the perfect response to a disappointing defeat against Barnsley as they produced a superb all-round performance to defeat in-form Newcastle at St James’ Park.

A first half own goal from Chancel Mbemba, and excellent second half finish from Helder Costa, secured a 2-0 win backed up by an impressive defensive display and some fine saves from Carl Ikeme.

It was a deserved three points,  and the Head Coach, whilst calm post-match, was understandably delighted.

“I got my answer from the team today,,” he said.

“This was our chance to show that we are not the team that played the last 15 minutes on Tuesday.

“We wanted to show that was an accident and a shock, and we wanted to show the spirit of the team.

“Today, before the game, I told them one thing: Play as a team.

“The players did that from the very first moment, they made a great game, and we have to continue with that.

“What is done is done, and we have to continue our jobs and show the same confidence.

“In the Championship you play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday and how you react after each game is very important.

“The players wanted this reaction for themselves, and how they played was the big answer for everyone.”

The gameplan appeared to work perfectly, with Wolves calm and composed throughout and preventing the hosts building up any sustained momentum.

“We were very organised today and very compact and congratulations to the players,” added Zenga.

“They did a great job, amazing, fully concentrated and found the right way to go and attack and create chances.

“It is not easy to play here, in such a great stadium in front of 52,000 people.

“They had won six games in a row and had not conceded a goal in many games.

“And they had won 6-0 in their last game and we had lost 4-0.

“Our approach was very important.

“We are delighted for all the fans that came up here – this victory is for them.

“I think they enjoy seeing the team running, giving all their heart and passion on the pitch.

“In the end you can win and lose – that is sport.

“But every game if the team plays with that spirit the fan will accept any result.

“Today they are satisfied with the team, and satisfied that we have three points.”

There was also an impressive debut from Romain Saiss in the Wolves midfield, although Zenga was keen to praise every single member of his squad.

“Romain Saiss gave to us balance - he is calm, concentrated, and will be an important player for us,” said the Head Coach.

“But I want to compliment every one of the starting eleven and everyone in the squad.

“There was no one player today who didn’t give 200 per cent.

“Everyone here today, even the players sat in the stand, they are concentrating on their jobs and they believe in what we do.

“For us, it is a club with a new coach and new players, and it is not easy to put everything together.

“You will have ups and downs, but we have to continue to believe in our jobs and continue on our journey.

“We will celebrate this result for two minutes at the end of the game, and now we have to start thinking about Tuesday.”

Zenga’s  squad will remain in the North East to prepare for an immediate return to St James’ Park in Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie.

The players wanted this reaction for themselves, and how they played was the big answer for everyone
Walter Zenga