Wolves’ fans hope this is the first of many for Kevin. (©PAphotos)
by Rory Hall
, read by 95 people.
The dark clouds of winter have well and truly set themselves over Molineux now. After another weekend comes and goes, the disappointment must be all too familiar for the Wolves faithful.
Mick McCarthy must know the pressure is building on him, and his team, to start picking up points. They are in a position now where even gaining three points on those above them would not see them to safety; not a position you want to be in - especially before the New Year.
The manner of the loss at Bloomfield Road on Saturday afternoon is not one of a lacklustre nature - but, as with so many games in recent weeks, Wolves were unable to make their chances count and were punished for it.
Before the game kicked off, with news of a future King in attendance, Wolves had reason to be positive. Blackpool have shipped a few goals at home this season and their in-form goalkeeper was sidelined - the question was, could Kevin Doyle, deployed as a lone striker, break his league duck and bring home the points?
In the end the answer was no; but it wasn't for lack of trying. Even Blackpool boss Ian Holloway admitted that the first half belonged to Wolves; the away side pressing and pushing - looking for an opening that could give them a foothold in the game.
Of course, before the players really had a chance to get their bearings, they were 1-0 down. In this instance, there will be no finger-pointing; there is no-one to blame for Luke Varney's third minute goal. Kevin Foley could not have foreseen the outcome when he, maybe against his better judgement, let a long ball from defence bounce; yes, Luke Varney was lurking behind him - but they were about 30 yards away from goal on the far left touchline.
The on-loan striker, who has already scored at Anfield this season, took a glance at the goal and smashed a majestic volley over an astounded Hahnemann and into the back of the net. Frustrating as it may be, even Wolves fans have to appreciate the beauty of such a strike.
This goal seems typical, at the moment, of McCarthy's luck. Not only has he had some hellish fixtures to cope with, he has found his side conceding early in the last three games - all of which they have gone on to lose. The news only gets worse, as Christophe Berra will be suspended for the Sunderland game after picking up his fifth booking of the season.
Wolves spent the rest of the first half trying to drag the game back in their favour. Indeed, they controlled much of the possession and fashioned some decent chances through George Elokobi, David Jones, Kevin Doyle, Stephen Hunt and Kevin Foley; but the finishing was poor and as the game continued towards half-time, a increasingly desperate Wolves side lost their chance of taking any points home as a result of Hahnemann's misjudgement.
In an attempt to stay positive in such tough times, I feel it's necessary to try and take something out of the game. Kevin Doyle was able to get a goal back; it was his first of the season and will hopefully give him the confidence to go on and rack up a few more goals in the games to come. Matt Jarvis didn't have his best day but still showed flashes of why he is being touted for his first England cap soon enough.
The weekend was, again, a good enough performance with no rewards. There is only so long that this can go on before the fans lose patience with the team and the manager.
Time is on McCarthy's side and he has upcoming fixtures that could provide some relief; take points from Sunderland, Blackburn, Birmingham, Wigan and West Brom and their league position may not be looking too dire on 1st January 2011. But some things are easier said than done.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.