Wolves boss Paul Lambert thinks work is paying off after stunning Stoke

By dsguser
07 January 2017

Paul Lambert felt his Wolves side looked full of confidence as they stunned Stoke 2-0 in the FA Cup.

Wolves won an FA Cup tie for the first time in six years thanks to w ell-taken goals from Helder Costa and Matt Doherty, who sealed the upset 10 minutes from time with a lovely free-kick. It was a first victory in the competition since 2011 - the year that Stoke made the final under Tony Pulis.

Lambert only took over as manager at the Championship club at the start of November but he thinks he is beginning to put his mark on the team.

The Scot admits a lot of work still lies ahead but if he can carry on in the same vein then the future looks bright.

"I thought we were great, I really did, right from the off," said Lambert. "The whole performance from start to finish was terrific and we could have been two or three up before we even scored. We look like a team that's full of confidence at the minute.

"You need time to put your own stamp on things, you're never going to do it within three or four weeks. You won't even do it within three or four months, you need about a full season to get your point across properly. But there is an accumulation of things now happening at the club.

"We've been working hard on certain things and there's a lot of confidence in the group, a lot of good play and a lot of young players coming through and involved. I t's a lot better place now than when I came in, that's for sure.

"But we need to keep going. Wolves is a big club with a big fan base and I think they can recognise now what can happen. We have a good young side who are still growing and who will take another few years to it their full potential, some of them, but the future is very good."

Wolves looked sharper than their Premier League hosts from the outset and t wice in the opening 10 minutes Jon Dadi Bodvarsson burst forward down the right before sending efforts narrowly wide of the far post.

Costa made the breakthrough after 29 minutes. He cut inside on the edge of the area and, after riding a challenge from Marko Arnautovic, fired a shot into the bottom corner of the net, giving goalkeeper Lee Grant no chance.

Some home fans booed their team off at half-time and Stoke boss Mark Hughes obviously was not happy with what he had seen in the first half either as he made two changes at the break, with Giannelli Imbula and Bojan Krkic replaced by Joe Allen and Charlie Adam.

Bojan was already frustrated by a lack of starts, with a move away being mooted, and his representatives recently met with Hughes to discuss the issue. Whether this is the last we see of the Spaniard in a Stoke shirt remains to be seen.

Hughes said: "You can read into Bojan and Imbula, they weren't making an impact and we needed to change things. That's the top and bottom of it."

Stoke were much better in the second half and only some fine goalkeeping from Carl Ikeme denied them getting back into the tie, with Arnautovic, Ibrahim Afellay, Peter Crouch and Allen all thwarted.

However, the hosts' hopes were dashed in the 80th minute when Bruno Martins Indi gave away a needless free-kick on the edge of his own area, fouling Bodvarsson, and Doherty clipped his shot perfectly over the wall and beyond Grant's reach and into the back of the net.

Hughes said: "We lost the game on the first half. The strength of the team we put out should have been capable of getting a result.

"You need luck, and their keeper made several saves, but ultimately we weren't good enough on the day and we have to give them credit.

"We wanted a cup run, sadly that's not the case and that's disappointing. We need to pick ourselves up and get our act together next week now."

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