Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Saunders hails 'massive' Wolves win

2 April 2013

Dean Saunders hailed his Wolves side for producing a "massive" derby victory over Birmingham despite the disadvantage of playing twice in three days over the Easter period.

Wanderers climbed out of the npower Championship relegation zone thanks to their thrilling 3-2 win at St Andrew's in a full-blooded encounter, with the visitors three goals to the good at the interval thanks to a devastating 17-minute spell.

The Black Country club tired after the break as Blues applied a sustained amount of pressure, with two-goal match-winner Sylvan Ebanks-Blake picking up an ankle injury which may rule him out for the rest of the season, while David Davis - who played a part in all three goals - and Jamie O'Hara both emerged with injuries.

Wolves' fourth win in five games comes quickly on the back of their similarly draining 3-2 success over Middlesbrough on Saturday, while Birmingham, also enjoying a rich vein of form, enjoyed an extra 24 hours' rest following their 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace on Friday.

Saunders said: "It's a massive win. I've got to credit the players, they've had a torrid time the last couple of years and we're turning it around now. I just think it's absolutely ridiculous that we've had to play Saturday-Monday, it's just ridiculous. Some of the teams are playing Friday-Tuesday.

"I've got a couple of groin strains in there and Sylvan might be out for the rest of the season, it's just fatigue. He's done his ankle ligaments, fingers crossed on that one. It's just tiredness, and it showed in the second half as we were out on our feet."

Stephen Hunt converted the opener after 20 minutes before Ebanks-Blake took advantage of some lackadaisical defending to head home a quick-fire second. Kevin Doyle was brought down by Jack Butland in the area and Ebanks-Blake slotting home the resulting penalty.

Yet Wade Elliott gave Birmingham hope early in the second half, converting a spot-kick of his own, and the home side had a host of further chances to reduce the deficit. Wes Thomas the most profligate figure before Elliott set up a frantic finale when he converted his own rebound following a saved 95th-minute penalty.

Blues boss Lee Clark cut a frustrated figure afterwards. He said: "Quite simply, without the ball in the first half we were rubbish, with it we were decent. With it in the second half we were decent again and without it we were good. But in the first half we were woeful.

"Three or four players weren't at it and you can't have that. With the ball, you can have three or four players maybe not having a great day but without it, you have to have 11 putting a shift in."

Advertisement block