Wolves boss still has faith in Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was today backed to bang in the goals to save Wolves despite his big miss against Cardiff.

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The club’s 11-goal top scorer volleyed over from point-blank range at 2-1 with 10 minutes to go yesterday, his missed chance costing Wolves a point.

Defeat kept Wolves third from bottom of the Championship and two points from the safety line with 12 games left as they made it 12 matches without a win.

Manager Dean Saunders insists Ebanks-Blake will return to goalscoring form, after five matches without a goal.

“I’ve told Sylvan I missed a few of them myself in my career but at least he was in the right place – if we put another 10 crosses in, he’ll score nine of them,” said Saunders.

Saunders introduced Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle at half-time after Wolves trailed to the first of Fraizer Campbell’s brace.

The manager gambled on an unusual 3-5-1-1 formation in the first period with Bakary Sako playing behind lone striker Bjorn Sigurdarson..

The Molineux chief revealed he wasn’t happy having to throw on two strikers so soon, even though the team looked far more comfortable as well as dangerous in a more familiar 4-4-2 line-up.

Doyle also had two headed chances that went begging, one hitting Peter Whittingham while the other flew straight at keeper David Marshall.

“Being a goal down, we had to go for it in the second half and I brought Sylvan and Kevin on,” said Saunders. “But we were gambling and had to risk leaving Campbell and Craig Bellamy up there.

“We did it because we had to and they scored a second goal from a mistake.

“We got the ball forward and pushed them back but didn’t take our chances.”

Saunders believes the mistakes that led to Cardiff’s goals cost them dear.

For the first one, Campbell nodded home at the far post after Ben Turner flicked on Aron Gunnarsson’s throw.

For the second, goalkeeper Carl Ikeme failed to come for Craig Bellamy’s free-kick, allowing Campbell to ghost in and head home.

“Normally with long throws the goals are from a flick-on as there is only really Rory Delap who can throw the ball right in there,” said Saunders.

“So the most important people are the players at the back or in the middle – all they’ve got to do is mark their men.

“Don’t ball-watch or drift into a space – grab hold of your man and get close to him and make sure he doesn’t get in front of you.

“I said all that on Saturday and yet it still happened.

“For their second, Carl Ikeme will be first to hold his hands up to admit blame and nine times out of 10 he’d have caught that.”

Saunders insists Wolves have enough to stay up however, repeating his target from Friday of a minimum of five wins.

“I’m not giving up,” he said. “We’ve got to win five or six games and we’ve got enough matches to do that and we’ve got enough quality in the dressing room.

“Things don’t go for you sometimes and maybe we need a scruffy 1-0 win from somewhere to get us going.”