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It was a beautiful day at Selhurst Park, the sun was shining, fans were singing in the away stands and the line-up was decent. Heck – even the ref was decent! Yet we still seem to make it difficult for ourselves, don’t we?

Gomes showed good pace, there was a denied penalty (questionable, given the new rules, but VAR was on our side for once) Sa made his usual early mistake in a pass to Gomes that was very shaky and Kilman made a beautiful defensive move to save the ball.

That was just the first 15 minutes.

We showed drive, we showed aggression, we were attacking, we were on point with possession. There was passion. O’Neil was on the sidelines shouting instructions. There were a few lucky moments, but overall, we played some decent football. Yet come the half-time whistle, there were no goals – thankfully Palace hadn’t managed any either. 

And within the first 10 minutes of the second half we were down 1-0. It was a cracking goal from Palace – there’s no denying that – but from then on, our defence just seemed to lose it a bit. It was nice to see Dawson bigging the lads up, but Palace were pacier, and we just couldn’t keep up.

The subs were…interesting. Hwang did a Sasa and scored off his face/shoulder from a nice delivery from Neto – for some reason VAR checked that but it was cleared, and we were level. Then Silva was off and Boubacar was on, and he looked like he’d never been on a pitch before – for a while he seemed totally lost. Palace’s pace caught up with us and after a cracking save from Sa punching the ball away, there was a Palace goal that seemed like it came out of nowhere. Our answer – Sasa and Bueno on in the 80th and a couple of minutes later, it felt like we were standing still.  Kilman rushed to defend but didn’t get there on time, and Sa just watched as the ball went in the net. 3-1.

Last season, we’d have thought it was all over, probably after the first opposition goal – after 3, we’d have lost all hope. But not this squad. Not this team. We kept going. Our defence was crappy, and we were all over the place but there were 6 minutes extra time to play, and the lads kept fighting forward. In the 95th it paid off – Cunha got an ear to it and we pulled one back. But it wasn’t enough, and the final whistle blew.

Palace 3, Wolves 2.

Disappointing, yes. Frustrating? Definitely.

Then the comments come: “Get O’Neil out!” “Ait-Nouri is crap!” “We’re going to be relegation fodder at this rate.” 

Oh, please, shut up! 

We’re 4 matches into the season. There’s a hell of a long way to go yet, and everyone knows how the Premier League can change with the click of a finger.

We are not last season’s squad.

And save for one player who I really didn’t want to see leave, I’m really very happy that we aren’t. 

Today we learn more – that our defence needs a lot of work. That our weak spots leave space that is taken advantage of too easily. That we can move forward and create chances (we just need to do it more.) We can get players in the box, and it does pay off. We learned that we get under the skin of the opposition, and we learned that we need to, in turn, stay focussed and cool under the pressure we come under when we do that.

We saw that we can concede, and still come out fighting instead of hanging our heads and giving up.

We saw a squad that is growing into a team and learning along the way.

Yes, there are things we need to improve on – there always will be: no-one is perfect after all, but in those last moments on the pitch, I didn’t see a group divided, I saw our lads looking on the bright side. Together.

Wolves, ay we!


Esme is a long standing Wolves fans who likes to look ‘On the Bright Side’ when it comes to her beloved Wolves, she loves to cheer and sing rather than moan and berate!

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