Despite picking up the three points against Fulham which put his Wolves under-23 side joint top of Premier League 2 Division 2, James Collins was not too pleased with his team’s performance on Monday night.
Goals from Owen Hesketh and Chem Campbell earned the development squad a 2-1 victory at Aggborough, making it four wins from four at home this season, but following a game which Collins felt the opposition deserved more, the head coach is hoping his players can improve so they live up to the high standards which have been set.
On a hard earned three points
“It was hard-fought. I thought we started really well, as we have done at home this season. I thought we were really going to control it, we got the goal, and I thought, ‘Here we go, it’s going to be a good night.’
“Whether we thought it was going to be easy because we were so much on top in those first ten minutes, I don’t know, but they really got to grips with it and I thought they were excellent and caused us a lot of problems.
“I was glad to get in at half-time 1-0, and in the second-half, we regrouped, changed the shape and it was a much more even second-half. We got to grips with it and got a really good goal from Chem to get the second, which is always a relief, and probably should have got a third, but didn’t.
“Then there was the free-kick which might have been a goal for them, which I thought probably wasn’t a foul, but I wasn’t sure it was a penalty either, so I was just glad to get off the pitch at the end with a win.”
On Fulham feeling hard done by
“They might have deserved something from the game, because I thought they came here and were excellent. I knew they were going to be good, but they really caused us a problem.
“We stood up to it pretty well, but I felt in the first-half we were really passive and didn’t get close enough to them and didn’t really lay a glove on them when we were defending. I thought we did much better second-half, and when we got the second I felt we’d rode the storm and we’ll go on and win the game.
“Then the last five minutes happened, so in the end I was glad to get the win.”
On an under-par performance
“You hope that winning games is a habit, you hope players are learning how to win games. They’re about to go into league football, which is all about sometimes not playing well and winning.
“But we’ve got to set standards, and they’ve got to perform and play better than that. Yes, it’s great to get the three points, and credit to them for that, and credit to us, but I want us to play better than that, and they expect themselves to play better than that.
“I spoke to Luke Cundle on the way off the pitch and he was almost laughing about the fact we got away with one there. We got away with a poor performance and won. It’s a nice feeling, but we’ve got to play better than that.”
On trying to reach high standards
“Don’t get me wrong, we are young with some of the older boys going out on loan late doors, which mixes the team up, and we’ve not had a lot of a chance to work together because we’ve had some brilliant days down with the first-team, where we’ve done some work with them.
“But that doesn’t always allow you to do the work and preparation for our games. Saying that, we have had enough time and I felt today we were slightly off it.
“When you’re slightly off it and still produce the quality that we produced, it’s a good sign. But there are high standards that we’ve got to set because of what they’ve got to try and get into.”