Reflecting on what he watched on Tuesday night, Wolves boss Walter Zenga was keen to focus on what had gone right and wrong for his team, rather than talking about the opposition.
However, he did feel the need to mention the stunning strike from Yoan Gouffran, saying ‘The finish for the second goal is very nice…’, before going on to say that it wouldn’t have been scored if it hadn’t been for his side needlessly giving the ball away.
No doubt this is exactly what Rafa Benitez was saying to his players on Saturday after the defeat, both goals coming after his players carelessly gifted possession to the opposition – Lascelles for the first and Perez for the second.
Interesting to hear what Walter Zenga had to say about making so many (eight) changes to his team, saying that Newcastle made the same number and rotating the squad hadn’t been the cause of the defeat.
Zenga says that he had to do it anyway to ‘protect’ his players from injury but also made an interesting point about his new signings.
The Wolves boss saying that it is all very well seeing players in training each day but you only really find out about them in match situations, hence why these cup games are ideal for having a first look.
Whilst Daryl Murphy seamlessly eased his way into the team for the first time last night, Achraf Lazaar on the other hand showed why Rafa has been protecting him – rather than throwing him in at the deep end.
So many signings, especially from abroad, have seen their Newcastle careers end before they have really started, not having been given the time to settle in and get up to speed.
Lazaar showed in flashes that he clearly has the ability, so it is just a case of when, not if, Rafa give shim his chance in the Championship, once he has the Moroccan up to the level he feels necessary for league matches.
“The finish for the second goal is very nice but the situation leading to it is from our big mistake when we lost the ball.
“We make a big gift in a couple of minutes and the game was over, we made two mistakes in defensive situations and when you do that it is difficult to come back.
“We cannot do it in that way just after we have gone 1-0 behind.”
Sometimes you can play for three days..:
“In the last 20 minutes, with the score at 2-0, you need to make sure you never give up because you never know what might happen.
“Football is strange – sometimes one positive thing in the game can change it your way but sometimes you can play for three days and not get anything.
“I am sad because we are out of the cup but the game was lost in that two minutes in the first half.”
Problems with integrating new players:
“It was the right time to see them play and understand what they can do because you can see it in training but it is not the same as the games.
“Sometimes you have to see them play, and it was not a risk because we have full trust in all our players.
“Last Saturday we played an amazing game against a strong team in front of over 50,000 and we ran 190km so I have to protect the team and think about some rotation.
“I don’t want to lose a game but it is also my job to give everybody a chance to be involved in the project.
“And we didn’t lose the game because we made changes – Newcastle also changed eight players.
“If you only work together in the time of training you do not have time to understand the personality and the character of the players.
“We have spent a good few days in Newcastle and if we have the same chance again in the future it will also be good, as the players enjoyed it as well.”
(To read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to the win over Wolves go HERE)
(To view our interactive player ratings and to add your own go HERE)