Wolves captain Sam Ricketts today praised the boldness of Kenny Jackett to switch tactics to turn the game around at Bradford.
Jackett’s side made it a club-record equalling five successive away wins with a 2-1 triumph at Valley Parade on Saturday.
But only after Jackett replaced midfielder Lee Evans with striker Kevin Doyle 24 minutes into the match to revert to a 4-4-2 formation from 4-3-3.
The Molineux head coach admitted afterwards he got it wrong before Doyle’s arrival sparked a transformation which saw Wolves cancel out Raffaele De Vita’s 13th-minute opener through James Henry and Richard Stearman in a dramatic four-minute spell.
And Ricketts believes his gaffer deserves credit for having the courage to make the switch.
“It was a bold decision and I don’t know if every manager would have been brave enough to do that,” said Ricketts.
“He re-iterated to Lee Evans that it was nothing to do with him, that it was just a formation change, and you could see straight away the impact ‘Doyler’ had when he came on.
“He showed his experience going into different areas and linked us up very well and we got the two goals.”
Wolves had to withstand a second-half onslaught from Bradford which saw in-form keeper Carl Ikeme block from half-time substitute Nahki Wells three times.
And Ricketts recognised the magnitude of Wolves’ victory.
“It really was a hard-fought victory – they really made us work for it,” said the defender.
“The lads not only passed the ball well but they dug in and we all defended well and coped with their threat well, especially after a difficult start.
“We showed great character and resilience and in the end it was a fantastic win.”
Ricketts believes Wolves will need to continue being as resolute as they were in the second period with every League One opposition pumped up to play them.
“We’re going to need that in every game and the defence has played well this season and Carl Ikeme has been in great form and was again on Saturday,” he said.
“I think we were always going to need that at Bradford with the atmosphere their fans generated – they were really up for it like every team we play against.
“They were getting to their feet to cheer every throw-in and tackle which made for a really hostile environment for us.
“But it’s something which we probably thrive on and we showed character for a young side to come through that and get the win.
“The Bradford win was a big one for us because they’re a good side in good form.
“You see promoted sides, and often, the following season, they carry on that winning mentality and start the next campaign very well.
“So Saturday was a big test for us at the home of a side near the top with 18,000 there wanting to cause an upset and trying to prove they belong where they are.”