Wolves take the derby honours against Birmingham
KENNY JACKETT believes a tightening up of the Wolves defence proved crucial as his side ended their three-match losing run with victory over Midlands rivals Birmingham City.
The away side went ahead early on through David Edwards before Sheyi Ojo doubled their lead deep into the second half with a fine curling effort to cap-off an impressive display and ensure Wolves left with the bragging rights.
And Jackett was equally impressed with his players’ efforts in defence, including recent loan signing Mike Williamson at centre-back, as well as winger Nathan Byrne going forward.
“It is a tough place to go, we needed the win,” he said.
“We had conceded nine goals in the last three matches and that doesn’t give us a chance.
“We are delighted to win the local derby obviously and it was important we recognised where the side were and what we needed to do to be successful, and I think we did that.
“I thought Mike Williamson’s talking and organisation was exactly what we needed in this present time, we’re delighted that he was keen to come to Wolves on loan and he sees it as a big opportunity for himself.
“I thought Nathan Byrne did well too and gave us something different.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to make the transition from League One to the Championship and I was pleased with his contribution, he gave Birmingham problems.”
Despite a good start from the Blues it was Wolves who took the lead in the 12th minute when Edwards capitalised on a calamitous mix-up in Birmingham’s defence to coolly slot home past Tomasz Kuszczak.
Wolves nearly doubled their lead when Nathan Byrne set off on a surging run before curling a speculative 25-yard effort narrowly wide.
The home side failed to create much in the way of chances in the first half but did have an opportunity to equalise when David Davis’ flashed his effort just wide.
Wolves’ Benik Afobe caused the Birmingham defence problems all afternoon and after an incisive break-away he laid the ball into the path of Kevin McDonald whose powerful effort was expertly saved by Kuszczak.
Birmingham simply couldn’t cope with Wolves’ pace on the counter-attack and found themselves overrun frequently throughout the second-half, while the majority of their own chances came from distance as they struggled to click.
And Wolves made sure of the points in the 84th minute when 18 year-old Ojo made room for himself inside the box before curling accurately past the helpless Kuszczak.
Gary Rowett would have hoped for better from his side in a game which marked his first anniversary as Birmingham City manager.
Rowett said: “In the first ten minutes we started quite brightly and then lost our way a little bit and conceded a poor goal.
“It shows the progress we’ve made that a team like Wolves came here probably to come and take a point and be defensively strong.
“It was up to us to break them down but we didn’t show the quality that we needed.
“We conceded two poor goals and in games like this the first goal is always crucial and we gave them that.
“We needed to be more inventive and show more composure on the ball, that’s something I felt we didn’t do well enough.
“Wolves did a job on us and won the game deservedly, we conceded two very poor goals.”
GAME OVER: Wolves’ Sheyi Ojo, left, celebrates scoring their second goal with Conor Coady, right