Roberts reveals how hard words revived soft Rovers

Blackburn Rovers 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
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The Independent Football

Sam Allardyce did warn Wolves to beware the Blackburn backlash, but the Rovers manager could not have dared hope that Mick McCarthy's side would make it quite so easy for them.

Wolves started and finished the game well but for an hour they looked like a team in for a long relegation fight with goals by David Dunn, Brett Emerton and Ryan Nelsen sending them to their 10th defeat in 13 League games and the foot of the table on Saturday.

The Rovers players, smarting from the previous week's 7-1 record rout at Old Trafford, seized the chance to retrieve pride. Jason Roberts, who ensured his former club's defeat by teeing up Emerton to make it 2-0 on half-time, revealed that a few harsh words in training had stopped the season from going into free fall.

"After what happened there was a feeling within the squad that we had to win, and we went out and did a job," said the striker. "We had a bit of an inquest. We knew it was not acceptable from our point of view – not that we lost, but the way we reacted to the way they played. You shouldn't be losing by that score and you shouldn't be throwing the towel in."

As for Wolves, two pre-Christmas derbies against Birmingham and West Brom look like must-wins, as between 29 December and 12 February they then face Liverpool (twice), Chelsea, both Manchester sides and Arsenal.

Dire defending that gave Nelsen his first home goal for 11 months summed up Wolves' shambolic performance on 55 minutes. "I'm angry and disappointed with the goals we conceded," said the manager McCarthy. He could point to a debilitating string of injuries, with Steven Fletcher, David Jones, Karl Henry and Jody Craddock among the missing here, but he was having none of that. "I've never bemoaned an injury list so I'm not going to start now."

Sounds like it's over to the Wolves players to do a Rovers-style return.