Wolves striker Chris Iwelumo insists it is too early to start writing off his side and their challenge for automatic promotion to the promised land of the Barclays Premier League.

The Scottish international knows the doubters are just waiting in the wings to destroy his side’s credentials after such a blistering start to the season.

Mick McCarthy’s men suffered only their fourth defeat of the season at QPR on Saturday but Iwelumo says the way to judge his team is on their fightback now that nearest rivals Birmingham City, closely followed by Reading and Burnley, are breathing down their necks having closed the gap to just three points.

Iwelumo said: “We are only three points clear at the top now but we know, being top of the table, that every team we come up against wants to have a pop at us. That is part and parcel of football. We are all good professionals and very strong.

“We had chances today but QPR took their chances for the goal.

“We have just got to bounce back now on Tuesday night. We are a good bunch and we will be back – definitely.”

Iwelumo said his manager was disappointed by the defeat but was not throwing his crutches around the dressing room as the Yorkshireman recuperates from an ankle op.

“You all know Mick McCarthy very well and of course he had something to say to us in the dressing room after the game,” the Scotsman said.

“But he has said to us we have got to be prepared for defeats and there will be disappointing times. It is just important that we bounce back.”