Birmingham 1 Wolves 3 - Report and pictures

If this is Wolves in "pre-season", imagine how good they'll be when they really get going.

Walter Zenga said this week that his team, owing to new transfers, a new boss, a new approach and just about a new everything else, are playing catch-up, writes Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers at St Andrew's.

Well eight points from four games and a scintillating derby comeback here aren't a bad start for a team just warming up.

It was a feisty, blood and thunder clash in the Second City, as you'd expect, and Wolves were good value for the three points.

They spurned several chances in the first half and were unjustly behind at the break.

But a stirring second half comeback - full of the passion, the desire and the spirit that Zenga has so quickly instilled in this team - gave them an utterly convincing derby day victory.

Joe Mason, chief culprit in the first half, produced a sublime finish to equalise on 47 minutes. Skipper Danny Batth equalised soon after from a corner, And then Jon Dadi Bodvarsson laced the Wolves cake with Icelandic icing when he lashed home a late third.

The 2,700 fans behind Tomasz Kuszczak's goal lapped it up. And Wolves - who only started with one new signing, showcasing just the impact Zenga has had in a few short weeks - ended the day in third place in the early Championship knockings.

Zenga sprang a couple of surprises with his team sheet, dropping Joao Teixeira and David Edwards with Jed Wallace and Jack Price brought in.

New signing Prince Oniangue was on the bench.

Wolves started brightly with Matt Doherty cutting back inside and crossing for Conor Coady whose header was deflected wide.

Coady then let fly from 20 yards and forced a sprawling save from Tomasz Kuszczak, before Wallace tried his luck with a tame effort.

Blues began to get a foothold in the game and tested what looked like a slightly suspect Wolves back line, with Kortney Hause needing a last-ditch clearance to deny Che Adams a free shot at goal.

Wolves were then presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead when they briefly found themselves four-on-one on the counter - Coady raced down the left but Blues quickly got numbers back. He played through the line for Mason but instead of shooting first-time he took a touch and was crowded out.

Wolves then suffered a blow when Lee Evans was forced off with what looked like a groin injury - Edwards replaced him.

And just a minute later Wolves fell behind. A right-wing cross was allowed to make its way to the back stick where Adams was criminally unmarked - with Dominic Iorfa out of position - and he sidefooted home with a tidy finish.

Back came Wolves - Jon Dadi Bodvarsson nipped in after Ryan Shotton mis-controlled. He made it into the box and forced Kuszczak into a smart low save.

Clayton Donaldson's free header caused Ikeme a problem when it looped up dangerously, and then at the other end Wallace's come-and-get-me cross was somehow bundled behind.

From the resulting corner Mason fired wide from a good position as the opportunities continued thick and fast.

And that was half time. A disappointing scoreline given the chances Wolves created, but they paid for not being clinical in front of goal.

However that all changed - as did Mason's mood - at the start of the second half.

Wolves came flying out of the traps and within two minutes levelled it up, with Mason cutting in from the left of the box and curling an absolute beauty into the far corner.

It sparked wild scenes of celebration behind Kuszczak's goal - and was reward for Mason who kept plugging away and had the confidence to produce something special despite spurning those first-half chances.

Wolves, galvanised by the goal and spurred on by their supporters, swarmed over Blues with Wallace lashing a deflected shot just wide. He then span and fired from range but it didn't trouble Kuszczak.

Zenga's team were looking menacing on the counter, with Coady often the man to get them going in what was one of his finest games in a Wolves shirt.

It was all Wolves - and they very deservedly took the lead just past the hour mark.

Jack Price clipped a corner into the box - Doherty's header was brilliantly saved by Kuszczak at point blank range but there was captain Batth, reacting quickest to fire home the rebound.

On came Prince Oniangue to make his debut, with Price departing, as Zenga looked to firm up Wolves' lead.

Wolves began to sit deeper and the game flowed in Blues' favour, with the hosts piling on the pressure.

There was dangerous pinball in the Wolves box but Iorfa crucially cleared. And other than that they dealt relatively comfortably with what Blues had to throw at them.

They sporadically countered - Mason fired into the side netting from a decent position - and then with just a few minutes left their task was made even easier by the petulance of Blues' Jack Storer.

Having only been on the field a few minutes, the substitute clashed with Hause - the pair were head to head and Storer threw his forehead towards the Wolves man.

It was a clear headbutt and he was duly shown his marching order. To his credit, Hause didn't make a meal of it.

And there was time for some icing on the cake when Bodvarsson crashed home a lethal finish from 15 yards to send the away fans into ecstasy.

The way Wolves and Zenga are going, there could be a few more days like this in the coming weeks and months.

Blues (4-3-3): Kuszczak; Spector (Storer, 76), Morrison, Shotton, Grounds; Gleeson, Davis, Maghoma (Stewart, 76); Cotterill, Donaldson, Adams (Tesche, 61). Subs: Legzdins, Robinson, Kieftenbeld, Solomon-Otabor.

Goal: Adams (24)

Wolves (4-3-3): Ikeme; Iorfa, Batth (c), Hause, Doherty; Coady, Evans (Edwards, 22), Price (Oniangue, 65); Wallace, Bodvarsson, Mason. Subs: Lonergan, Saville, Henry, Teixeira, Costa.

Goals: Mason (47), Batth (54), Bodvarsson (89)

Attendance: 18,569 (2,761 Wolves fans)

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Comments for: "Birmingham 1 Wolves 3 - Report and pictures"

darrenm3388

Excellent win, well done wolves

tommyt

just watched the game on tv in Canada great 2nd half we really look like we could have a great season it brought a lump to my throat to see the players and manager going to the fans afterwards and waiting for Bodvarsson to start the Icelantic clap then Zenger on his knees bowing to the fans-priceless!!! golden days i may have to come home and see some games again!!!

Black Country Wanderer

Great result,and by all accounts performance

Zenga astutely gave Tiexiera a rest for what would be a physical encounter,and used his subs well again

Dadi back on song,and Mason starting to look like a threat,much better in midfield today,but the back four still look iffy

Lets hope we can get a few more players in,but so far so good,all things considered we couldnt have hoped for a better start

Shewolf1943

Well played lads. Walter seems to know how to get the best from them. Not worried about them going behind these days as we know how to fight back.

Solentwolves

Over the moon - great result!

Albrightondek

This was a highly impressive performance - arguably the best since Fosun and Zenga took charge. Wolves were unlucky to be behind at he break, as I thought they were the slightly better side, albeit they didn't take their chances.

But this was a 90 minute minute performance by the whole team, and they fully deserved their victory. Although they conceeded a goal, I thought the defence were pretty solid , and Ikeme was rarely troubled. The midfield were industrious throughout, and the front three were posing a threat whenever the ball was played up to them.

Teacher Wolf

Watched the game via stream.

Thought Wallace was outstanding and glad to see Price make a start and be part of a solid midfield performance. We looked very dangerous going forward, but thought Iorfa had a really poor game; both he and Hause look nervous and their decision making has been very poor so far.

Well done, Wolves!

Mountain Wolf

Well done lads. You have put a massive dose of pride back into our great club.

The Flying Winger

Cracking game, funny old world change the coach and the same players produce.

Training again tomorrow no let up then, pleasing to see he could leave the new players on the bench and get a result.

We are in catch up with the new guys so the more time they have to get fit the better longer term.

Pleased for Mason and the travelling fans who I hope all to returned home safely.

Well done to all.

oldergold

A good boss knows how to get the best out of all players, it is in there,needs coaching out looking good though FW

HarrowWolf

I was at the game today and all I can say is that I'm absolutely buzzing.

sheshe

Well done to all the team. Please keep up the good work, and we will reach the promised land!

cashyiswolves

Brilliant

chris h

Good to see both strikers scoring and one for Danny Boy. Three good points, keep 'em coming Walt.

ELDERVO

Watched the game live today and as I've already said it was a fantastic result and comprehensive performance but hopefully and just between you and me Chris can you now see my point from yesterday re Iorfa ? Today he had an ok game but was at fault for their goal. As so often in the past he won a header against (the much smaller) Adams only to see his clearance come straight back into the box where he'd left Adams on his own unmarked (in the area that Dom should have been covering) to put the ball away for the goal. Poor poor defending and on another day could and would have cost us the game.

Sorry but you need to see the bigger picture with this kid. He's fast but very dodgy at times and how much offensive pluses is there really to his game, not a lot in terms of end result as far as i can see. He may well be the player you think he is in time but now ? Nah, I'm afaid not mate.

Great result though and isn't Wallace starting to show signs of being the player I always said he was, despite many thinking otherwise. Even better to come from him I think.

UTMW

chris h

Elder, I was a bit liberal with the word 'see', I heard on WM, don't go away these days.I expected a comment when I heard he was at fault for the goal. We shall see how he develops and for whom. I believe he has the makings. Wallace I think was very much a Thelwell signing and yes it is good he is now doing well after his injuries last season.Not seen a defender yet who has not been at fault for a goal or two. Remember when Puskas put Billy on his backside and when 17 year old Alun Evans went round Bobby Moore in one of the kid's early games for us.

Bleydh

Second equal with a group of players who, according to many posters on here, simply aren't good enough. Todays win was an excellent result by any standard.

BillyWrightUpper

Great second half comeback today and a well deserved 3 points.

So far Kenny Jackets players seem transformed under Zenga. Full of belief and confidence - long may it continue.

Still need to sort our defence out.

frankbrucetrini

Remarkable really when considering that this is last year's team with the addition of Bodvarsson and a few substitutes. The next seven days includes what must be hoped not to be another dreary League Cup tie and then a very tricky away game against leaders Huddersfield. After that an unwanted international break. In the past these breaks have tended to stop any good run; perhaps Zenga can use this one to "bed in" all the new signings and really mould a team to finish in the top two. No play off lottery please.

chris h

I am pleased indeed very pleased, like all Wolves' fans, at the impressive start made by Walter Zenga but there is no need for this unfair knocking of our previous coach. We actually beat Blues away last season two nil in a commanding performance. And how many times did Jackett say he needed (and didn't get) a tall commanding striker to among other things get the best out of Mason. Fortunately under our new owners we have got one. Also with a stronger squad Walter could rest some of our midfielders from playing two games each week. We are doing well, but no need to put the boot in unfairly on our previous coach.

chris h

In fact last season we beat Rotherham away(compared to a draw this season), beat Reading at home,drew with Ipswich at home and beat the Blues away. So Jackett is two points up compared to this season's results That is without the five signings made so far . I am sure we will do much better this season in other games, but let's try and be fair, Jackett was dealt a much more difficult hand with the previous owner compared to our current owners..

The Flying Winger

Chris h , Jackett is yesterday's man, the results of last season are last season the previous owners are yesterday's men it's all history but conclusions will be drawn that you will never accept.

The team that you see now will not be the team in the coming months but we are in a transitional time so we have to do the best we can with what we have got which Zenga seems to be doing that no day off must send a signal to you that things were not right.

Yes we still have defensive issues, midfield issues etc but they will be resolved.

So buckle up and enjoy the ride for goodness sake, do you want to be yesterday's man? Everything that went before is now finished.

chris h

Then why did you make your not needed reference to him in your original post, not necessary.. It is OK for you to bash him is it but wrong for me to try to defend him.Yes he has gone but that didn't stop you from commenting and having an unfounded dig.I suppose you forgot all about last season's win at Saint Andrews.

The Flying Winger

Chris h , you are so predictable, i said about drawing conclusions. Not your blind faith in yesteryear, you are just waiting for failure

No matter how you wish yesterday is history.

Lord Brewood

Chris - you need to let the past go. We all know how supportive you were of Kenny Jacket but the times they are a changing and for most fans - myself included - for the better.

As far as I can see no one has critisised Jacket in the posts above so your defensive approach is difficult to understand. I believe Walter Zenga has the capability to take this Wolves Team to the next level.

Let's all enjoy the ride as the feel good factor is as good as it's been for many a long year & you and I both go back a long time!

UTW

LB

chris h

Brewood, For a start there will never be a Lord in Brewood.

Secondly read the comments again a number starting with the Flying Winger made comments implying not needed criticism of Jackett.. If you read my comments again you will notice I am like all of us am delighted with Walt's start, For years on here I have wanted an owner(s) who would invest in the team and now we have one , so I an hardly likely to complain.

Another example of n unfair comment from the Winger is to be found above. He thinks I want Walt to fail and yet it is him from Mick to Kenny, who has constantly criticised every manager we have had apart so far from the current one.In comparison I have usually been supportive of most of them .

We know all about Jackett being history, but facts are facts. Jackett did better in results against the same opposition than Walt has achieved so far. Yet folks above are saying how much better he is doing with the same players, in terms of points on the board that so far is not true. I believe in being fair my friend to our managers both current and past.Things look good and I am very hopeful for the future, but I will still stick up for Kenny and Mick whenI think they are being unfairly criticised.

Ritchie

I agree, come on guy's let's move on please.

The Flying Winger

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away, yesterday.

yampyman

I think there is every need to knock the previous coach. Here was a man who spent the entire season trying, and failing, to find the ideal formation for the team to ply, and whenever he did play the same formation two games running, he changed the personnel around so they never had any chance to get used to playing together in that particular system. You can't blame injuries for that, nor can you say that the club didn't buy a big striker for Mason to play alongside because for a lot of the matches that were played after Mason signed, he was either left on the bench or not even in the match-day squad, and when you see how Mr Zenga has got more or less the same players (only ONE of the new signings started today), playing with such passion and vitality, something that Jackett never managed to do, well, I rest my case. The positive attitude of Foosun and Mr Zenga are like a breath of fresh air blowing through the club, because I really think that if the takeover hadn't happened, Wolves were destined for League 1, without a doubt.

chris h

Yampy, How do you specifically answer the following points:

1 against the four sides we have played this season Jackett won more points in the corresponding games last season.

2 Jackett said many times that Mason needed to play with a big striker to feed off and the failure of the club to sign one in the Jan window was the main reason he didn't play Mason. We are now seeing the best of Mason when he has a tall target man also in the team, something denied to Jackett.

3 Jackett worked for an owner who would not invest in new players when thankfully that is not the case for Walt and the new owners

4 you criticise Jackett for constantly changing the team, when Walt does exactly the same thing, from what we have seen so far.

The Flying Winger

1, 2, 3, 4, yesterday's man.

stephen.malcolm.52

Your so right about Jacket, he's wasn't the problem, it's the Scrooge's of Morgan and Moxley. the best upgrade for the club, breath of fresh air, they're gone for good.

West Park

Great result today..showed spirt and grit

Well done lads...

*Rampton*

It's unfolding that Saturday afternoons are becoming a regular party, several weeks ago who'd of thought we'd be experiencing this scenario!

Zenga on his hands and knees, what a bloke....

seawolf

Well that went well great stuff.price on from start.so far so good

Got the bastard

Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a turn around. Is there anyone out there that now doesn't recognise who was causing the problems, ( and I don't mean KJ ). I haven't felt like this since the 1950's.

CAROLINA WOLF

There it is.

Bedford Wolf

Conor Coady for Man of The Match? Brilliant display - looks as if Zenga is getting the best out if him.

ChaseWolf

St Andrews Capacity - 30,000

Attendance 18,000

WHAT?

For a Derby?

Is St Andrews under reconstruction?

DancesWithWolves

Early to be drawing conclusions but Zenga seems to be getting the extra mile from Kenny Jackett's team. Kenny wanted a big target man to play alongside Mason and we have one now. In retrospect Kenny was right about that, as we all knew, but that's yesterday, and yesterday's gone, as the song goes. Tomorrow is looking far more exciting.

Cookley Wolf

Looks like Zenga knows how to get the best out of the players and fans alike. The fact this performance came from a team in which 10 of the 11 starters were remnants from 'last year's team' is remarkable. It's far too early to be getting carried away, but we seem to have the look of a club going in the right direction. Can't wait to see what the new signings will bring to the team, but I'm very impressed that Zenga is giving the squad he inherited a fair chance to show if they can play the way he wants them to.

Woodsetton wolf

Chris h....You are fully entitled to your continued defence of Jackett and I have no desire to ressurect any further debate on the subject. I am delighted that Jack Price achieved two assists today and I hope you are equally pleased that the lad is looking brighter when used in a more advanced midfield role. Hopefully any future discussions will relate to the here and now and be pertinent to the future rather than the past.

I will not hold my breath for any recognition of Jacks efforts from Not Confused but neither do I respect his opinion so his thoughts will not be of any relevance.

chris h

Woods, I said the other day to you that I thought Jack would be more productive in a more advanced role. I haven't seen the goals yet, just seen Mason's shot on Sky but not the build up. If he has had two assists, then well done to the lad .I think it speaks well for him in that Walt uses him to take the corners and free kicks. Looks like the policy will be to mix and match to keep the midfielders fresh which I think is a good idea although of course if it was a a manager from the past some would refer to him as 'tinkerman'.

Ritchie

Chris, because squads are so big these days it makes sense to rotate and sub early, it keeps them fresh however, if you don't get it right you are a tinkerman. And that my friend is the same at every club.

Not Convinced

Woodsetton - I am not going to knock a 3-1 away win at the blues - great result - does jp taking a corner count as an assist (admittedly I remember rooney taking a corner in the closing stages of that vital world cup match in brazil v uruguay when he failed to get the ball into play , so much for 250 k a week) ? zenga was so impressed he took jp off after 65 mins - me , I was at the V Weston Park boogying on down .

Waggy for England

I am just so pleased to see us play with passion.Its not financial investment alone that was required but good man management.We saw many examples of poor man management over the last few years - lets hope the team continue to play and act as a team.

Well done Wolves.

Hertford

Is it me or is Jack Price a brilliant corner taker ?

You rarely see him hit the "first man"

How furious am I that the erstwhile regime who could have made treading water an Olympic event (be that financially or by playing one up front week in week out) robbed us of seeing where K Mac and Afobe might have fitted in to the new set-up.

I know the latter may be questionable but once he realised he was trapped in Loserville even Bournemouth appeared to be a more attractive prospect.

It's not like Fosun have thrown silly money at it but the difference lies in their ambition.

Shewolf1943

Ambition and positivity. Walter has given the players confidence, they are actually enjoying their football. Also how good is the connection between club and fans. Thought Ian Holloways comments last night were out of order, he obviously doesn't like the idea that we sacked his good mate Jackett.

Ritchie

He's a very talented player, even better further up the pitch and yes, top corner taker and free kicks........

Chillo Wolf

Couldn't agree more Chris ... Yeah Jackett is 'yesterdays man' and we should move on but oh yeah i'm gonna criticise him in my post but you can't defend him in yours

Priceless from FW yet again

Oh and as you say, how many times did Kenny ask for a big man to play alongside Mason?

Ritchie

Not seen you on here for a while Chillo, where you been old chap?!

*Rampton*

Yes Chillo, were you been hiding?

Chillo Wolf

Still here, still reading what the whingers have to say ;)

The Flying Winger

So you have surfaced with the same old yesterday as your mate Chis h, times have moved on but you will no doubt keep peddling the same as your comments in you later post.

The rest of us are looking forward.

Did Mason need the big man for his goal no he just needed to be on the pitch.

Chillo Wolf

Still single i see

CAROLINA WOLF

Bacon, sausage and eggs, a cuppa along with a pleasant Wolves game report. Great way to start the day.

Thanks players. A good game yesterday. Solid performance,great result.