Gary O’Neil was bursting with pride in his players as they showed character to fight until the end at Molineux to claim two added time goals which won Wolves the match against Tottenham Hotspur.
Although the head coach admitted he didn’t expect his side to complete their turnaround in the fashion they did, he was delighted with how his team continued to battle when the chips were down to claim another three points at home against title-chasers – and hopes the Wolves fans are enjoying watching the team at Molineux once again.
On showing character in fightback
“It may be the most proud I’ve been of a group since I’ve started coaching. I thought we were the better side apart from the first five minutes when we were slow, but even at 1-0 down, with 85 minutes on the clock, I was just proud of the group.
“I thought they had a really good understanding of what we were trying to do and then the mentality to keep going was excellent. I was disappointed that I was going to have to deliver a speech here to the lads around, ‘Well done, but unlucky’.
“But the mentality to go and get an equaliser and then go and get a winner was incredible and fully deserved.”
On Sarabia’s impact off the bench
“He's got unbelievable quality, especially for certain situations like today when we were having some joy but we were needing a bit more. We need to be a bit more incisive around the goal, and he brought two unbelievable bits of quality to make a difference.
“He forced my hand in the way that he trained this week, because we’re always discussing options, and Pablo just stood up and put in an unbelievable shift in training.
“I knew that if I needed him today he was going to be ready, and we were considering to do it earlier, but Jean [Bellegarde] was getting some joy down that side, but I was really pleased. When you can put a sub on and they have an impact like that, it’s obviously a big positive.”
On a proud afternoon at Molineux
“I was obviously disappointed with the start because we looked slow and sluggish, which I’m not sure why. We’ll have a look into whether we can do something better around a 12.30pm kick-off, but apart from that, I thought it was an incredible performance from a group who were ready to do whatever it took today.
“There are no excuses, no refereeing decisions, nothing that we’re going to blame, we were able to take care of business ourselves and they kept going right the way to the end to make sure we got what we needed.
“I was really proud of them, and the two goals obviously make it easier to give the message, but it was honestly how I felt. They’re [Tottenham] a top side and I know they have some players missing, but it was more than that, it was the understanding of what we’d worked on, the togetherness, so I was really pleased with what we’ve managed to produce today and I’m sure the fans enjoyed it.”
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Simply sublime from Pablo Sarabia to bag Wolves a late equaliser! pic.twitter.com/6EciwZg501
On the fans and players’ relationship
“I sensed the lads were going to keep going. I knew they weren’t going to stop, but we did start to lose our way a little bit. We did have some situations we didn’t capitalise on, and then the longer it goes, you think it’s going to be one of those days.
“But as well as having some good results, we’re probably a good team to watch at the moment, we create a lot of chances, we can attack fast, we have good possession of the ball, and I hope the Wolves fans are happy because we’re working hard to make sure they are.
“We’ve got a real good connection between them and the group at the moment which was really important for me when I came in, but we’ve got to keep going.”
On going into the international break on a high
“I spoke to the lads before about how big getting to 15 points would be before the break, and it’s the least they deserved.
“There’s still six points potentially that we’ve dropped from unfortunate decisions, so to still get to 15 with the fixtures that we’ve had is a really good return. We can now go and enjoy the break and make sure we are ready for Fulham.”