Danny Batth praised the strength in depth of the first-team squad as Wolves beat Southampton 2-0 in Round Two of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Batth who headed Wolves into the lead on 67 minutes said the victory was very much down to Nuno Espirito Santo’s tactical plan.
“I thought the boys were excellent from start to finish. We had a game-plan, we spoke beforehand about Southampton and how fluid they are, how they like to overload the middle and you have to force them wide and we did that throughout the game. Credit to the manager, he got the game-plan spot on.
“I thought we caught Southampton cold to be honest. They matched us up to start with, which is a sign of respect, especially with them being at home. I thought we played some good football and implemented what the manager wanted us to do.”
Speaking after the game, Batth, one of 11 changes from starting line-up against Cardiff on Saturday, revealed what he told his teammates in the pre-match huddle.
“I said to the boys in the huddle before kick-off, we haven’t had a game in a while let’s go out and enjoy it, this is a great place to go and play football and we’ve got great support tonight. I think we’ve all given the manager a bit of a push now, we’ll keep working hard on the training ground, stick together and then go again.
“We want to be a strong squad, it’s not just about the team that are playing in the league, it’s all the boys around the place. Hopefully it won’t be long until the fans see one or two of us back in the starting line-up.”
The Wolves captain praised the returning Ben Marshall and Michal Zyro too, the latter making his first competitive appearance for 18 months.
“There were lads out there who have come back from injury: Michal Zyro, Ben Marshall, those boys haven’t played for a long time so hats off to them, they did a great job.”
Batth also singled out Will Norris for praise, the former Cambridge goalkeeper making a fantastic reaction save to keep Wanderers on level terms at half-time and although Southampton remained a threat, Wolves went on to seal a memorable victory.
“There was a great save from Will in the first half, he does that in training. He is really coming on now, he has settled in, found his feet and put in a great performance.
“You’ve always got to be mindful of the quality Southampton have got and the players that were on show, one slip and they’re in. But, to be honest any chances they did have were from our square passes that they manage to nick. We cut those mistakes out in the second half and I thought we got stronger.”
The Wolves central defender spoke of the importance of stopping the losing habit following defeat against Cardiff, even if it was an entirely different team on display.
“No club going for promotion want to lose two games on the bounce. You want to end a losing run as soon as possible and I think Southampton may be a bit shocked that we’ve come down here and won on the night.
“We’ve got a quick turnaround now, obviously the boys will be ready if any of us are needed, even if it’s coming on and doing a job, we’ll be ready and that’s the ethic you’ve got to have in a group like ours.”
Brierley Hill-born Batth headed home an Ivan Cavaleiro corner just after the hour-mark and said the goal will live long in his memory.
“I joked with the lads before that I’ve never scored at St Mary’s, so I was buzzing. It was a great ball by Cav and I just managed to nod it in and ran over to the fans, it was brilliant.”