WOLVES 2 BLACKPOOL 0
It’s a sign of Wolves’ strength-in-depth at the moment when they can be missing several key players and still cruise to victory against Blackpool.
Manager Mick McCarthy had already seen his centre midfield decimated with skipper Karl Henry suspended while Carlos Edwards was recalled from loan by Sunderland.
McCarthy may well have to reshuffle his central defence for good measure after Chelsea loanee Michael Mancienne returned from England duty in Germany suffering from illness.
Added to that, the influential Richard Stearman limped off early in the second half suffering from an ankle injury after being the victim of a late challenge from Blackpool striker Steve Kabba in the first half.
McCarthy will be desperate to have both back in place for tomorrow’s trip to Sheffield United – especially after the Blades crushed Charlton Athletic by five goals at the weekend.
But there were some major pluses for McCarthy to pause over as well.
Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo clearly thrived in the captain’s role while Dave Edwards gave a man of the match display when filling the void in midfield.
McCarthy’s decision to make Iwelumo skipper was clearly a masterstroke and the Wolves boss knows their title credentials will be put to the test in the next few days.
Apart from Tuesday’s trip to Sheffield United, Wolves then entertain second-placed Blues next Saturday lunchtime.
Wolves should have beaten Blackpool by a proverbial ‘Golden Mile’ such was their dominance in the first half.
Richard Stearman alone could have netted a hat-trick when pushing forward at set-piece plays.
Chris Iwelumo also back-headed against the crossbar before opening his account in the 28th minute when volleying into the roof of the net after Blackpool had failed to cope with a long range throw-in.
Iwelumo struck again just before the hour to settle the outcome after Liverpool loanee goalkeeper Paul Rachubka flapped at a David Jones corner.
Scorer: Iwelumo (28, 67).
Wolves (4-4-2): Ikeme; Foley, Stearman (Shackell 54), Collins, Ward; Kightly, D Edwards, Jones, Gray; Ebanks-Blake (Keogh 67), Iwelumo (Vokes 78). Subs not used: Hennessey, Potter.
Blackpool (4-4-1-1): Rachubka; Baptiste, R Edwards, Evatt, Camara; Gow (McPhee 73), Hendrie, Southern (Fox 69), Hammill; Taylor-Fletcher; Kabba (Burgess 69). Subs not used: Jorgensen, Barker.
Referee: Andy D’Urso (Essex)
Bookings: Wolves – D Edwards; Blackpool – Hendrie, Evatt.