Wolves look to stop the rotBy: DJ | November 30th, 2012
Wolves go to Bristol City looking to avoid having their winless run of games going into double figures. It’s a run that has seen Wolves tumble down the league, lose the confidence of many of their supporters and raised questions over whether manager Stale Solbakken is the man to lead Wolves back to the top flight. The recent run will clearly take Wolves to League One rather than the Premier League if it continues for any length of time as they now have only 6 teams below them in the league. And they play four of those teams before the end of 2012 in a run of 6 games which Wolves must take advantage of if they are to get back to a respectable league position.
After Bristol City away on Saturday who are currently 22nd, it’s Birmingham at Molineux a week later who are immediately below Wolves in 19th. Then there are difficult looking away games at Middlesbrough and Blackpool before the final two games of 2012 which are both at home against 24th placed Peterborough and the improving 21st placed Ipswich who have raked in ten points from 6 games since McCarthy took over.
There are stories emerging of the players being unhappy with the way they are being asked to play and certainly there is unhappiness from the grandstands on what they have been watching. Its going to need a run of good results to bring smiles to the faces inside the club and to those supporting the club and Saturday’s game at Bristol should present a decent opportunity. The south west team have won only 2 of their last 16 games and their surprise win at Middlesbrough last weekend brought to an end a terrible run of only 3 points from 11 games – even worse than Wolves current run. You have to go back to 1993 for the last time Bristol City beat Wolves with the 8 games since resulting in 5 Wolves successes and 3 draws.
It looks like Carl Ikeme will be able to continue in goal after his hand injury in midweek and the chances are that Johnson, Berra and Ward will continue in defence with the usual choice between Stearman and Foley at Right Back. Karl Henry will return to the centre of midfield but Doumbia will still be absent after being sent on a short term fitness regime in France. The place alongside Henry in the centre of midfield may well go to Davis who was one of the better players in the midweek game against Millwall. And that would leave a choice on the right of midfield between Pennant and Edwards or maybe even Forde. Sigurdarson and Doyle look set to continue up front.
Along with Barnsley these are two of the worst three teams in the division on current form covering the last 8 games so we should expect a low quality game but surely one that Wolves should be capable of winning to lift the gloom. And it would deflect the debate away from whether Solbakken is someone who should have a very short tenure at the club and cut short his plan to change the style and improve the quality at the club. Thats a plan that has plenty of support but one for which there is very little evidence so far on the field.
With 4 games against teams beneath them in the league before New Years Eve there must be surely be an improvement in league position in that time and if not the manager’s future cannot become anything less than a hot topic over the mince pies in the coming weeks. Lets hope these prove to be the greyest days of the Solbakken era at Wolves and that November ends on a high with three overdue points secured at Ashton Gate.