It wasn’t particularly pretty and it wasn’t the right result but the season started in earnest for Wolves at Bradford on Sunday.
0-0 may not sound like the greatest result against a team that almost went out of business during the summer but there were some plusses to be taken away from Valley Parade.
Solid performances from the new boys Irwin and Ingimarrson showed that the depth of the squad has grown and there was an encouraging return from Lee Naylor to add to this.
However, perhaps the key, as I had feared, was the lack of creativity and balance provided by the left side of midfield.
The length of absence due to Mark Kennedy’s injury is of concern to all Wolves fans, as even when he is in and out of a game he still possesses a touch to mesmerise any opposition right back.
Colin Cameron was chosen on this occasion to try and fill the void but being a naturally right-sided player he found himself on many occasions on the wrong side of the field.
Up front we saw once again that Blake prefers to expend his energies tangling with the referee and defenders rather than concentrating on scoring. Paired with Kenny Miller, in for the injured Deano, the forwards not only lacked service but also co-ordination, not being the first choice striker pairing.
Rumours abound that Miller is not happy to keep the bench warm again this season, but apart from one great acrobatic chance in the second half didn’t do enough to suggest he will keep Deano out for the Walsall match.
However, we did have the chances to score and win the match though.
Rae was unlucky in the first half to see a great save from a Cameron volley rebound off his foot just wide of the left-hand post.
In the second half, Walsh denied Miller and then the substitute Ndah, when one-on-one with Walsh, lacked the nerve to round the keeper and saw his chance wasted.
However, overall a draw did seem a fair result.
Bradford never really looked like scoring after Ward chose to head back across goal when it seemed easier to put the cross directly past Oakes.
I expect changes will be made, as Jones will realise that this was the sort of match you have to win to get out of this division.
With all three relegated Premiership teams getting off to comfortable wins there is no time to lose ground.
Walsall then Burnley come thick and fast and it really has to be maximum points returned from these home ‘bankers’.
Ince is not yet match fit and it would seem that Ingimarrson would be the likely man to make way for the Guv’nor.
Also Deano should be fit and will replace Miller.
I wouldn’t also rule out the use of Camara on the left wing to try and use his pace to get round the opposition defence.
Alternatively we might see Cooper come in and Newton make way for Cameron on the right.
There are just 45 matches left so we need to be looking at 7 points from 3 games on Saturday evening.
However, we saw last year that the high octance pressure of an expectant Molineux leading to ‘stage-fright’.
Jones and the players need to nail this Wednesday evening with a convincing display to get the season going in earnest.
Hopefully, my season ticket has arrived this morning so I’ll be in the Stan Cullis and I can’t wait to get back to the Molineux – come on the lads!
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