Wolverhampton Wanderers’ utility man Stephen Ward has apologised to the club’s supporters for the disappointment of the 2-0 defeat to promotion rivals Birmingham City.
The left-winger, who ended up reverting to his more favoured left-back position as manager Mick McCarthy moved things around to accommodate the loss of striker Chris Iwelumo to a first-half injury, was bitterly upset at the result and the performance.
Monday’s result came on the back of six games without defeat for the Coca-Cola Championship leaders after a previous blip in results.
But Ward vowed the team would bounce back as it has before.
Ward said: “It was really disappointing, but credit to Birmingham, they were better than us all over the pitch.
“You can’t have any excuse. We’ve shown this season that we have a good enough squad to win these types of games and we have the people to come in – we just didn’t perform this time.”
The Irishman admitted the result had been a body blow with Wolves’ seeing their lead at the top of the table slashed to just two points while Birmingham put some daylight between themselves and the rest of the chasing pack by forcing a six-point advantage over Reading and Sheffield United.
“We have an absolute scrap on our hands now,” admitted Ward. “The result was a massive blow for us but we look to our next game, and we play Southampton at Molineux on Friday.
“A win and we take it from there.”
Ward believes a postmortem will now be held by the staff and players to assess where it all went wrong in a game which saw striker Iwelumo stretchered off, Blues’ skipper Lee Carsley subsequently red carded, and Cameron Jerome and Garry O’Connor scoring to dent Wolves’ hopes of running away with the title.
“We have got to analyse this game and where we went wrong and get it out of our heads as soon as possible,” Ward said.
“We are disappointed for the fans. We let them down against our local rivals in what was a top-of-the-table clash.
“We haven’t performed but at the end of the day it is still in our hands and we have got to bounce back, put on a performance in front of our home crowd and get three points.
“We have shown we are capable of bouncing back from setbacks – I’ve every confidence we will do it again.”