Wolves wins need to come nowBy: DJ | March 12th, 2013
The prospect of Wolves suffering a 2nd successive relegation has been real one ever since they produced some horror shows over Christmas at the end of the Solbakken era and Dean Saunders has been unable to arrest the slide having gained only one win in his 11 games in charge. And now the crunch time has come in the season with fellow strugglers Bristol City at Molineux on Saturday for a game that Wolves must win to put some confidence into the club that they can rescue their position.
There are only nine games left now with five of those at Molineux. The next two are at home with the Bristol City game followed two weeks later by the visit of Middlesbrough on Easter Saturday with an International break weekend in between. Then there are two away games at Birmingham on Easter Monday and Bolton the following Saturday. Those games are followed by two more home games with Huddersfield on April 13th followed by Hull on the following Tuesday. The season ends up with a trip to Charlton, a home game against Burnley and a final day trip to the seaside at Brighton.
Following Tuesday evenings draw for Peterborough at Leeds and Barnsley’s home win against Brighton, the game at Molineux on Saturday will be between the bottom two teams in the Championship with Wolves only ahead of Bristol on goal difference. And Bristol will go into the game unbeaten in the last four games and they have not conceded a goal in the last three. Earlier in the season Wolves thrashed them in probably the most impressive 45 minutes of Solbakken’s era as a 4 goal half time lead was established. And if recent clashes are any guide then Wolves could not wish to have better opposition for such an important game. The last 9 meetings have seen 6 Wolves wins and 3 draws and the goals scored over those 9 games is Wolves 25 Bristol 6.
A high scoring Wolves win looks unlikely based on recent results and yet there has been a real frustration over recent games as Wolves have played well enough to get much more than 6 points from the last 8 games. But now its all about results not performances.
Wolves have been better defensively under Saunders but there will be a change to the backline on Saturday with ward suspended after his sending off at Forest. Robinson is the probable replacement while Doherty looks set to make the right back position his own with a couple of impressive performances. The 4-2-3-1 formation used for much of the game at Forest gave the team a well balanced look and Sigurdarson and Sako look ideal for the wide roles in the 3 attacking midfield positions. Edwards has taken the other attacking midfield role in recent games although Doyle is an alternative for there and Ebanks Blake is still the most potent striker at the club. But its the 2 defensive midfield roles where Henry and O’Hara have not imposed themselves on games as much as we would hope are where there could be a change. David Davis has been impressive from the bench for a few weeks now and is overdue a start, and Doumbia may be worth another chance based on the distant memories of his outstanding early season performances.
So a tense occasion beckons on Saturday unless the Wolves players finally show they are too good to be where they are and blow the opposition away. That still doesn’t feel impossible but there is nothing about the results of the last few months to suggest it is likely. But for once I would happily be bored to tears on Saturday afternoon as long as Wolves put three points in the bank.