CRAIG HICKEY TALKS THE THINGS WE LEARNT SOUTHAMPTON V WOLVES
Referees have no common sense, two bookings in the first 15 minutes, no talking to, no chat, just a yellow. Lemina’s second yellow was apparently a mistaken identity. It’s a theme though that sensible refereeing is becoming a part of the modern game. I believe there is an underlying ‘Old School’ in the officiating that’s influencing the new generation. This game was spoilt in the first half by too many impulsive bookings. The second half was better with an even playing field in his decisions but Jarred Gillett will now have a reputation for not being able to handle important games.
Down to 10 men but we still battled, hustled, passed and created chances. A lucky equaliser but we kept going, defended as a team, bodies on the line and then a debut goal for João Gomes after his first effort was blocked. An accomplished finish and then all you see in the away end is limbs!!
3. ADAMA TRAORE
A player who has lost his form and confidence under Lage. Lopetegui and his team have taken him and renewed his confidence, decision making and his willingness to run at defenders. Adama looked strong, upbeat and skilful. He changed the game today, they were worried about his presence every time he got the ball and he delivered to set up the equaliser and a constant threat.
4. JULEN LOPETEGUI
Tactical changes at the right time again. Stemmed the flow of Southampton down the left side by taking off Ait Nouri for Bueno, who was being exposed too often. Changed our attacking threat bringing on Adama, Costa and strengthening the midfield with a debut for João Gomes. Julen isn’t afraid to make decisions quickly and sees things that we, as mere mortals, miss. A tactical masterclass to outwit a self proclaimed top coach.
5. THE AWAY SUPPORT
Always vocal and supportive, getting behind the lads through thick and thin. At 1-0 down we rallied as a group in the stands, loud, proud and encouraging. The team has said before that we are like a twelfth man, today we were the Eleventh. I could feel the energy at 1-1 and when Gomes scored the winner the roar was deafening!! In a sea of limbs, I managed to applaud the celebrations, cue the barracking of the departing Soton fans. A massive win, the players absorbed our energy at the end and rightly so. 3000 v 12 today!
ARTICLE BY CRAIG HICKEY
A 53 year old season ticket holder in the Steve Bull stand. Go along with my two young lads who love the Wolves and so far, the positive times. Long may it continue.