Although James Collins was pleased his under-23s were able to maintain their unbeaten start to life in Premier League 2 Division 2 with a 3-0 win over Stoke City, the head coach felt his players still have a lot more to give.
Two Taylor Perry strikes and an own goal made it seven points from a possible nine in the league so far this season, but despite the scoreline, Collins was left almost disappointed by the performance of his squad. However, he was happy to see the team bounce back from last Tuesday’s EFL Trophy defeat to Oldham Athletic.
On the victory against Stoke
“It’s pleasing to get a clean sheet after conceding four in the week. I thought they defended really well, and I thought they looked a threat in attack. Any game you win 3-0 you have to be pleased with.
“I actually got frustrated with them because I thought we could have played much better, but the little bits of quality that we showed at the right times were a big help. A terrific free-kick for the second, and a second goal which makes it much harder for them.
“We looked a threat throughout, but I felt we should’ve had more. I’ve gone in there to see the boys and almost been disappointed with them because I felt we could’ve done much better with the ball. But without the ball we were good and stopped them getting through us.”
On maintaining the unbeaten start
“I felt it was a good time to let them know [his frustrations]. It’s hard when you’re getting beat every week to keep hammering them and hammering them, but it’s good when you’re winning games to get that improvement out of them.
“If they want to get into the first-team at Wolves, they’ve got to set high standards. In all their games they’ve got to make sure they’re pushing towards those high standards.
“At times, they did that today, but there were a lot of times they made mistakes with the ball, and we’ve got to do better. But it’s a good problem to have.”
On the first clean sheet of the season
“I thought our shape was excellent and we’ve talked a lot to the boys this week about blocking shots and defending the box. Our defending has been decent in the first few weeks of the season, but at the very last ditch, we haven’t put that block and we haven’t put our bodies on the line to stop the shots in and around the box.
“I thought today we did that well. We need to stop crosses a little bit better, but in and around the shooting areas, we protected Andreas well.”
What a move from our under-23s!— Wolves Academy (@WolvesAcademy) September 28, 2020
On bouncing back from Oldham disappointment
“I say this every week and people are probably bored of hearing it, but it isn’t about us winning leagues, it’s about producing players, making players improve and making players good enough to either play in our first-team or be of value to the club.
“That doesn’t change whether we’re bottom of the league above or top of this league, but it’s better for confidence, better for belief and a better environment for them to learn and develop in if you’re winning games.
“It’s also a real good habit to get into, especially after last week. They had a big set-back at Oldham, but I thought we’d played well. People might think I’m mad saying that, but, a young team with six or seven scholars in it, to be 1-0 down at a league team with three or four minutes to go, I thought we’d done really well, and then we threw it away and made it look poor.
“They were disappointed after Oldham, so to respond like that and win the game 3-0 is pleasing.”