Hat-trick hero Nouha Dicko today insisted the Wolves fans who invaded the pitch yesterday were just “happy” as the club prepares to face an FA rap over supporters’ actions.
The French striker scored his first treble in the amazing 6-4 win against Rotherham. But the game – watched by 30,110, Molineux’s biggest crowd since 40,524 attended the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Middlesbrough on March 10, 1981 – was marred by four pitch invasions near the end.
Around 300 fans streamed onto the playing surface from the South Bank, with three of the encroachments during the game to leave Wolves facing a fine.
Other fans swiftly condemned those who ran on, but the invaders ignored public address calls not to return to the playing area – and also a threat that the game could have been abandoned if they didn’t stay in their seats.
But Dicko said: “They came on the pitch but it was for a good reason – it was all good natured and we were all happy. I understand how they feel because I was here last season when the club was relegated and I’m here when the club has got back into the Championship.
“I’m delighted with this and I understand them – they were just happy. They didn’t do anything too bad – they didn’t kill anyone, they were just pleased and it was good to see them in high spirits.”
Dicko believes the size and exuberance of the crowd shows Wolves have Premier League support.
“There are a few Premier League teams who don’t get 30,000 for a game,” he said.
“So it shows just how big this club is and how happy the fans were.
“We’re all happy for the fans and their support just shows how well we’ve done this season.”
Dicko’s treble – against his former loan club – took his tally to 11 in 16 games for Wolves, while Dave Edwards, Sam Ricketts and Kevin McDonald also netted as the team set a new record for wins in a season – 29. It was also the most goals Wolves have been involved in or Molineux has witnessed since November 27, 1965, when they beat Portsmouth 8-2, and most they have scored since they thrashed Gillingham 6-0 on March 22, 2003.
“It was the first hat-trick of my career and I was really delighted with it and delighted for Wolves,” added Dicko. “It’s always great to score goals but I was just as happy to score against my old team.”
Dicko said Wolves are now focused on winning the title – they could need as many as four points from their last three games after Brentford beat Preston 1-0 – and beating the division’s record 101 points total.
“The gaffer told us to win the league now,” he said. “The record number of points is 101 so we’re focusing on that.”
Wolves’ hopes of setting a club record lowest number of goals conceded in a season have gone after the four that went in yesterday made it 29, two more than their best in 1923-24.
- Your shout – see Monday’s E&S for a four-page special of supporters’ views
- 24:7 – All the analysis and reaction from the game at Leyton Orient in Tuesday’s E&S