Rob Edwards was disappointed with the way his title-chasing under-23s struggled to break down an energetic Aston Villa side in a defeat which left his team two points off top spot.
Wolves under-23s fell to a 1-0 loss to the Villans at a wet and windy Banks’s Stadium in Walsall on Monday night, and with just two Premier League 2 games remaining, Edwards knows how much of a missed opportunity the result will have on his team’s season.
On defeat to Aston Villa
“We’re obviously disappointed and flat. It’s never nice to lose a game, no one ever wants to lose a game, but I thought we played well in the first-half.
“We had good spells on control, opened them up well, created some really good chances, although there was always that threat there. You could see it, and Andreas [Sondergaard] had to make a couple of good saves from counter-attacks.
“We spoke about that at half-time; when we have got possession of the ball we have to be ready for any kind of counter-attack or transition.”
On ‘deflating’ Villa goal
“In the second-half, once they got the goal, it just deflated us. They gained strength from that and we didn’t have the answers to find the way back into the game.
“I’ll look back at the game and will be able to give more answers as to why we looked like we deflated, but that’s the million-dollar question.
“Following their goal, we tried to play down the middle of Villa too much and that played to their strengths because they would look to nick it and launch a counter-attack. I felt we could’ve played around them, or maybe even over them.
“We had some good moments when we managed to get ‘Gilo’ [Ryan Giles] in, even off one ball, some of Ed Francis’ passing was very good in terms of that, but we played too much into their strengths once we went 1-0 down and they saw the game out comfortably then.”
On impact of the first goal
“The first goal is so often key in football – it’s not always the case as we saw on Sunday – but I do think tonight it certainly was. We looked like we lost a bit of belief after that which spurred Villa on because they had something to hang on to.
“They did have another couple of moments then as we were trying to push for an equaliser, but we weren’t able to get back into it.”
On bouncing back
“That’s football, and we’re in a tough spell in terms of results after having such a good nine months, so we’ve got to make sure we find that belief and energy again and keep going because what the lads have done this year has been great.
“We’ve got two more games to go, so let’s see what they bring.”