Express & Star

Liam Keen analysis: Newcastle test a step too far for weary Wolves

After a gruelling week, this game was one step too far for a small Wolves squad.

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All season, Wolves have been full of quality and endeavour.

But last week, in two tough games against Sheffield United and Brighton on Sunday and Wednesday, Wolves had to be pragmatic and full of heart, grit and determination.

Showing both sides of the game and grinding out results when necessary is the sign of a good team, but they ran out of steam at St James’ Park on Saturday.

With their third game in six days, Wolves looked shattered. Their slim squad has become even slimmer in recent weeks with Matheus Cunha and Hwang Hee-chan both sidelined, and the effort they have put in caught with them against the Magpies.

In reality, there was little to separate the two sides in terms of their performances, but Newcastle took the slices of luck that came their way and were better in both boxes than Wolves.

Fortuitous deflections and unfortunate Wolves errors handed the hosts a 2-0 lead and from there, Wolves could not recover.

They were the better side in the second half but missed the quality of Pedro Neto, among others, before conceding a silly goal in the dying minutes of the game.

A damning sign of Wolves’ fatigue was how easily their midfield was bypassed for the opening two goals.