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Solbakken: Wolves must change mentality

19 August 2012

New Wolves manager Stale Solbakken knows he has a job on his hands to change the losing mentality of his players after they kicked off their first campaign back in the npower Championship with a 1-0 defeat at Leeds.

Wanderers were dumped out of the Barclays Premier League last season after returning just five wins from 38 games, a statistic that saw the club turn to Norwegian boss Solbakken with a view to finding a new direction.

Success did not arrive on Saturday, though, with Luciano Becchio's first-half header consigning a starting line-up that had just one fresh face in it, to defeat and Solbakken conceded it may take some time for them to shed the habit of losing matches.

"The only way you can change it (the mentality) is to win that first game and get that winning feeling," he said. "You can say that you can work hard blah, blah, blah, but you have to win that first game. Today was a fair result, there were not many chances in the game. Leeds protected their penalty area well when they went in front. I have no complaints.

"We are trying to find a winning formula. The team lost many games last season, maybe one win in 26 or 27. But now we have two home games and maybe we can get it then."

For Leeds, it represented a winning start to a season for the first time since they beat Exeter in 2009 and also allowed boss Neil Warnock to kick-off his bid for an eighth career promotion with a victory.

With a side sporting eight league debutants for the club - a statistic that was maintained when the injured Paul Green was replaced by El Hadji Diouf just before the break - Warnock saw his side dominate for an hour, albeit with just the one goal to show for it.

After that his players struggled to maintain their shape and, although Wolves did not create a clear-cut chance, United were glad of the final whistle.

"They deserve a lot of credit," Warnock said of his players. "We have a few niggles around the place and when you looked at our players and theirs, we were half the size of them, so we've done well.

"You have to do what we did. The Championship is a different league to the top level. The players loved the atmosphere and playing in front of a big crowd. That was something I didn't think we had about us last year."

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