Opinion: Wolves' biggest issue is that they're playing not to lose rather than to win
Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images

Opinion: Wolves' biggest issue is that they're playing not to lose rather than to win

Wolves beat Reading yesterday to advance into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup where they’ll face Aston Villa away.

Only problem is that the match was more of a loss than a win thanks to the injuries to newcomers Bruno Jordao and Meritan Shibani.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Wolves’ performance was also very flat and disappointing. It was the same turgid and conservative football the pack have witnessed in the club’s poor start to the Premier League.

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(Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

Wolves are setting up to not lose rather than to win

Wolves didn’t deserve to beat Reading yesterday. Nuno Espirito Santo was pleased with how his players controlled the first half (Wolves), but the second 45-minutes was appalling.

And the scary thing is that the pragmatic, boring, backwards and sideways football can’t just be blamed on the injuries. Nor can it be attributed to the implementation of youth.

Nuno’s men have been passing it backwards and sideways all season to keep possession rather than to attack. This isn’t the Wolves of last season lots of people fell in love with.

Wolves aren’t creating enough clear-cut chances with their possession. Jordao’s goal against Reading was a hopeful long-range strike the keeper bundled into his net. It was a goal that never should have happened, yet it was one of Wolves’ only six shots.

The Reading keeper didn’t even have to make a save in the second half. Nuno should have sent Patrick Cutrone home as he hardly touched the ball from a lack of service.

It seems Wolves are setting up to avoid defeat rather than to win as they’re not taking enough risks. They’re just passing it backwards and sideways to keep the ball so the opposition can’t attack.

The passing is also too slow and the ball never going forward helps the opposition reorganise themselves. This is why Wolves aren’t getting anything more than draws and losses; they’re too slow and negative.

Nuno must set his team up to attack against Watford. He doesn’t have to be stupid with his formation and line-up, but Wolves must be relentless.

Manchester City recently humiliated Watford with an 8-0 thumping and the hornets will make mistakes at Molineux. The pack must capitalise on this opportunity for a first win of the season as it’s the best yet. And everyone knows Wolves desperately need a win sooner rather than later.