Dean Saunders explains Wolves' slow start plan

Manager Dean Saunders today explained Wolves’ quiet start against Hull – he thought they might run out of steam.

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The Wolves boss instructed his players to play a more patient passing game during what was a tentative first-half last night.

That was because he didn’t think they would maintain another high-tempo start like they did in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Huddersfield.

Saunders said: "I thought if we went at them, we’d get done on the break so I set the team up to resist and then get a goal from somewhere.

“We had some players like Stephen Ward and Tongo Doumbia who maybe haven’t played all that much recently.

"I felt after Saturday’s game we couldn’t really go for the throat and had to keep the ball and save our legs a little bit..

“We did that in the first-half and played out from the back and I was just hoping the players were strong enough mentally to do that because the crowd want us to get after teams.

“Tongo couldn’t have played 90 minutes like we did on Saturday but he could last night because we kept the ball.

“And he ended up with cramp but we didn’t have another central midfield player to bring on.

"Ward hasn’t played for a while but came through two games in three days.”

Saunders’ side kept their first clean sheet in seven after leaking 13 goals in their previous six outings.

He confessed: “We kept the ball without actually penetrating their back line but we needed to stay in the game because we have been letting too many goals in.

“We restricted them to one shot which hit the post and five or six corners in each half – Dorus De Vries didn’t have a save to make.”

Hull boss Steve Bruce believes last night’s result merely shows how little there is between the top and bottom of the Championship.

Bruce said: “Just look at (fourth bottom) Peterborough this season. They have taken four points off us, beaten Cardiff twice and then, just last Saturday, they beat Watford.

"That’s not a bad record for anyone, never mind a team in relegation trouble. There are plenty of teams down there who can look at similarly unexpected results.

"That's why it doesn’t seem to make much difference if you play the bottom three or the top three in this division.

“Wolves are a club with great history and tradition. They have got a big fan base and that brings a lot of expectation.

“They are deeply hurting after what’s happened in the last year and it’s been a very difficult time for them.

“But they’re a side full of players who have played in the Premier League and they were fired up for a reaction.”

Bruce was at Molineux for the first time since the Molineux board decided against appointing him in February 2012.

But the former Birmingham and Sunderland chief insisted he had no hard feelings after missing out on the Molineux hot-seat.

He said: “That’s football. It didn’t happen for whatever reason and we have all moved on.

"I came to Hull and I couldn’t have wished for any more from this club.”

And Bruce was surprised to be on the end of Hull’s first away defeat in four trips.

He said: “We didn’t turn our possession into opportunities but I still couldn’t see us getting beat until Ahmed Fathi, who had a wonderful debut, got caught in possession."