Five talking points from Wigan 2 Wolves 1

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Wolves' inconsistent form continued as they lost 2-1 to lowly Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Will Grigg's late strike ended a seven-game winless streak for the Latics.

It was harsh on Wolves, but after a below-par performance they could have few complaints.

Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers picks out five talking points from a disappointing evening.

Leggy 11

This was Wolves' sixth game in 18 days - and for some players, it showed.

The likes of Prince Oniangue, Danny Batth and Dominic Iorfa have started five of those games, while Joao Teixeira has featured in all six.

The midfield in particular struggled to exert any influence on the game. Oniangue, David Edwards and Romain Saiss started in the win at Newcastle, the victory over Brentford and last night - and all looked leggy.

Saiss had a poor evening, regularly giving away possession and also picking up his third booking from three Wolves appearances, again for dissent.


It's no excuse for Wolves but Wigan, with the benefit of an extra day's rest having played last Friday, dominated possession and made them work hard to win it back.

Walter Zenga had demanded his players not underestimate Wigan and, although that didn't seem to be the problem, they certainly didn't raise their game like they had at St James' Park.

In very different circumstances - a tiny 10,000 crowd on a chilly Tuesday evening - they just couldn't get going.

And although they weren't outplayed by Wigan, they didn't do enough to win the game either.


Where's the Dadi?

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of this defeat was just how poor Wolves looked going forward in the absence of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

The big Icelandic striker - who thankfully is expected to return on Saturday against Norwich - has been Wolves' focal point in recent weeks and although we all knew he was important to this team, it was startling that Wolves were so bereft without him.

Ivan Cavaleiro was tasked with what you'd loosely call a central forward role and did a good enough job chasing down Wigan's centre halves in the early stages.

But for holding the ball up, winning it in the air, creating chances of his own and leading the line as a pivotal point of attack, no one in the Wolves squad comes close to Bodvarsson.

Cavaleiro, Teixeira and in particular Helder Costa looked sharp when they had the rare opportunity to run from deep - but that happened all too infrequently.

Time and again balls from midfield were easily dealt with by the Wigan back line - hence why the home side enjoy 66 per cent possession.

It doesn't say much for Zenga's faith in Paul Gladon that the Dutchman started on the bench. And the former Heracles striker again failed to impress when called on in the second half.

With Joe Mason also carrying a slight knock, Zenga's forward options suddenly looked limited.

The return of a fully fit Nouha Dicko can't come soon enough - but as the striker's withdrawal from Wolves' Under-23 squad on Monday showed, if may still be a while before Wolves can rely on his services.

Wolves will also risk burning out Bodvarsson, who of course played throughout the summer with Iceland at Euro 2016.

In that respect, Zenga needs a better plan B if the big striker isn't available.

No case for defence

Zenga kept public criticism of his players to a minimum after the game but he must have been livid with the manner of Wigan's goals.

On both occasions Dominic Iorfa and Danny Batth were culpable - allowing Le Fondre to get a march on them to turn home Max Power's cross for the opener, and then letting a hopeful long punt upfield bounce behind them for Will Grigg to latch onto for the winner.

They were two goals which should have been easily dealt with.

Silvio also didn't cover himself in glory - his efforts at sprinting back when Power was crossing from his side of the field were pitiful.

The Portuguese international made up for it when winning possession back near the Wigan corner flag for Wolves' equaliser, but in general he was nowhere near as solid as for last week's EFL Cup defeat at Newcastle, and made a number of basic errors.

Talking of which, would it not make more sense for last season's player of the year Matt Doherty to be at left back, where he excelled, and Silvio on the right, where he looked so comfortable at St James' Park?

Learning curve

We're still only in September of course and everyone - management and players alike - is still getting to know each other.

It's no consolation for the 1,000 fans who made the trip to Wigan and it's been said many times already, but that process will take time, and it's no surprise to see inconsistent results in the meantime.

The excuse will start to wear thin after many more poor results, but it's still relevant and viable for now.

Wolves' target must be to be in and around the play-offs come Christmas and, as things stand, they're only three points behind third-placed Brighton.

Yes there were things to be concerned about here, such as the lack of chances created in open play and a very drab and lifeless second half display from a team short on ideas.

However, it wasn't a disaster of a performance. On the balance of play Wolves merited a point. That they didn't get it will hurt, but it's all part of a very steep learning curve for this new-look team.

The curse

It was with depressing inevitability that Adam Le Fondre scored against his old club.

The striker netted only three times in Wolves colours but took just five minutes to become the fourth ex-Molineux man to score against them already this season (after Rajiv van la Parra, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Adam Hammill).

Wolves should count themselves fortunate Nathan Byrne and Michael Jacobs didn't also get on the scoresheet.

There's also a bit of a Tuesday hoodoo forming. Wolves have now played on three successive Tuesdays and lost all three games (0-4 versus Barnsley and 0-2 versus Newcastle being the others).

The fact that their next game is on a Saturday, and that neither Matt Jarvis (injured) nor Sebastien Bassong (out of favour) should feature for Norwich bodes well.


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