Wolves on the rise despite cup exit

rss logoWednesday 9th October 2013 21:03

Carl Ikeme: Been in excellent form

Carl Ikeme: Been in excellent form

Wolves FanZoner Karl Sears is feeling positive despite his side's Johnstone's Paint Trophy exit, and reserved special praise for the fans.

I'm writing this after watching the Notts County defeat. So while the good feeling around Molineux has dampened somewhat ahead of the international break, let's cast our minds back to what's happened over the last few weeks.

Since our defeat against Walsall, our record reads win, win & win, six goals for and zero against: solid, nice.

The win against Colchester at the weekend was a completely dominant performance, reminiscent of that at home to Gillingham back in August. Our midfield ran the show, we were rarely threatened at the back and we had width that opened up the game.

James Henry was full of energy, Richard Stearman's performance made the decision to drop him earlier in the season even more bizarre, and Danny Batth was, well, Danny Batth.

But, most crucially, we finished our chances.

I admit that I hadn't seen a great deal of third tier football before this season, and the standard of football all round has been a pleasant surprise. But the main difference between this league and the two that supersede it is the standard of finishing: I can't help but feel that our league position would be a lot more humbling if opposing strikers had been more ruthless.

Let's not take anything away from Carl Ikeme though. His form has season been outstanding and, alongside Leigh Griffiths, is heading my player of the season list.

It was nice for him to be able to celebrate his penalty save in front of the travelling fans on Saturday - it provoked as big a cheer as each of the goals.

The omission of Bakary Sako was unsurprising. From a personal perspective, I can appreciate Wolves' stance in wanting to keep hold of him, he's one of our star players and it sends a message out to 'bigger' teams - we don't need to sell. But at the same time, I wouldn't have been too upset to see him go.

At times he's seemed disinterested, and while there's always the threat of something special from him, I feel like he's underwhelmed this year. His head is clearly elsewhere and, if reports are to be believed, four million pounds is a good price.

James Henry seems to be a good replacement when Sako is inevitably sold in January and while Zeli Ismail seems to have fallen dramatically out of favour, he too looked good at the start of the year.

A word must also go to the travelling fans from weekend. Old gold shirts occupied almost two thirds of the total attendance, a truly astounding amount. And while I was irked that a few idiots started throwing plastic bottles in the second half, there was a good feeling in the away end and the singing was incessant.

The Notts County defeat, and especially the nature of it, was frustrating to say the least. County deserved to win, but the game going to penalties meant that the previous 90 minutes were irrelevant, we could do a smash and grab of our own. However, excluding Griffiths, our penalties were dreadful and 50% of them disobeyed the golden rule for penalties: hit the target.

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy was a competition that we could, nay, should have won. We were among the best teams taking part and a nice cup run, and possible Wembley visit, would have been a nice reward to the fans who have more than their fair share of suffering in recent years.

Still, let's move on. In Jackett we trust. We're winning games, let's enjoy it.

By Karl Sears, FanZone's Wolves blogger. Don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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