Perennial sore loser Neil Warnock said this result owed more to luck and refereeing decisions than anything Wolves accomplished.
‘I don’t think they won the game, I think we lost it. We didn’t get the rub of the green on certain decisions but you’re away from home and don’t expect that.’
Respectively Neil, I disagree.
This was a satisfying win against a robust, atypical Championship outfit who played the percentages and loaded the box at every opportunity.
It’s the type of game we’ve lost over and over again all season, which is why we’ve been plying our trade at the wrong end of the table.
A milestone victory then and my personal pick of the four straight wins Paul Lambert has now overseen that have catapulted us away from immediate strife.
Credit the manager too because the balance of the team once again looks spot on.
With the exception of the goalkeeper (no offence Andy) I’d happily watch that starting eleven for 46 matches next season and feel confident they’d crack the top six.
Although they couldn’t muster a cleansheet the back four were solid and looking across the line, there’s a nice blend of guile and technical ability.
I’ve got mixed views about Connor Coady at right back but you’ve got to admire his combative nature and he offers a useful contrast to Doherty whose devestating going forward but at times too relaxed out of possession.
Batth is much criticised but Cardiff got little change out of him yesterday and his two towering headers were just reward for an accomplished performance.
Alongside the pace of Hause and with two midfielders sitting in front, the skipper looks far more comfortable. We should be looking to make an upgrade in defence, but quality center halves are an increasingly rare commodity.
There’s a pleasing blend further forward too with Evans and Edwards grafting to win possession and set others free.
Costa, Cavaleiro and Marshall all benefitted and their combination play could just as easily have opened the gates before Batth’s more ‘direct’ route to goal ultimately put Wolves in the driving seat.
Marshall is racking up the assists and will definitely be a key performer next season, regardless of whose around him.
But that’s the key question – who will be around him?
The prospect of retaining Helder Costa seems ever more unlikely. 10 league goals and 8 assists now in addition to his cup exploits must make him the hottest property outside the Premier League.
Now he’s back playing with a few decent technicians around him, it’s clear to see what he could do at a top team. He killed this game with one moment of sublime skill after single handedly accounting for Fulham last time out.
If he does go, as seems inevitable, the only upside is that will free up funds to add several new players to a burgeoning team.
Much to ponder in what’s already looking like a long old summer.
A win against Forest on Tuesday and we can all get the deck chairs out.