LAMBERT SALUTES FANTASTIC WOLVES
HE’S HAD to find the right mix of players brought in by at least three different managers but Paul Lambert believes his resurgent Wolves have hit upon the right blend at last.
Lambert has added his own sprinkle of signings to the players he inherited from short-lived predecessor Walter Zenga and Kenny Jackett.
And it was a mix of all three eras that virtually assured Wolves’ Championship safety, dispatching mid-table Cardiff to make it four wins on the spin.
Two free-kicks from Lambert signing Ben Marshall were headed home by a man Jackett made a firstteam regular, Danny Batth, before Zenga recruit Costa sealed victory with a stunning solo strike.
Lambert said: “We were excellent from the off and some of the football we played was fantastic.
“There’s a lot of work to be done but we are on the right road to trying to create something really good here. The third goal was, in my opinion, world class.
“We’ve picked up 13 points out of 15 which is really good going but we were playing well before that without getting the results. The stats were there for everybody to see.
“The good play was always there, we were dominating games, we just needed the goals to finish it off and we’re getting that now.”
Wolves led on nine minutes as Marshall’s free-kick was won by Kortney Hause, finding Andi Weimann at the far post, and he nodded back across goal for Batth to head home from close range.
The lead lasted three minutes, though, due to equally poor defending at the other end.
Wolves only half-cleared a freekick and Danish striker Kenneth Zohore, with his back to goal, flicked a clever header over a rooted Andy Lonergan from six yards for his 11th of the season.
Cardiff should have led on 27 minutes as Zohore teed up Aron Gunnarsson on a plate 12 yards out but he steered inches wide when trying to find the bottom corner.
But the Bluebirds were behind for a second time four minutes before the interval, again unable to cope with Wolves’ aerial threat as Batth headed home his second from Marshall’s inviting cross.
Cardiff came within inches of levelling for a second time midway through the second half, substitute Craig Noone hitting the foot of the past from 20 yards with Lonergan beaten.
But Wolves deservedly sealed the win eight minutes from time, Costa wonderfully twisting, turning and dummying two defenders and goalkeeper Allan McGregor before sliding his 12th goal of the season into an empty net from eight yards.
Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock admitted his side’s defending cost them but felt Gunnarsson’s first-half miss was the game’s turning point.
Warnock said: “I don’t think they won the game, we lost it.
“We were quite comfortable early doors and even when they scored, we looked dangerous, got it back to 1-1 and then we had a great chance, didn’t we?
“It was probably the easiest chance you’ll ever get and Gunnars doesn’t know how he’s missed it.
“And then the other two goals were bad defending.
“There were a lot of plusses from the game looking to next year but the game also reiterated certain things that I know we need.
“We have a decent squad and we need three or four good players to supplement that in the summer.”
BATTH TIME: Danny Batth celebrates heading home his and Wolves’ second goal, inset