Gary O’Neil praised the resilience of his Wolves players and hopes their achievement is not forgotten after crowd trouble marred their FA Cup fourth-round win at rivals West Brom.
The Premier League side triumphed 2-0 in a fierce Black Country derby at The Hawthorns that was suspended for more than half an hour after problems erupted in the stands.
The trouble flared shortly after Matheus Cunha had scored the visitors’ second goal in 78th minute and players had to be taken back to the dressing rooms for a period before the game could be completed.
The stoppage was a concerning period, particularly with some West Brom players worried about family seated in the area, but the matter was dealt with by police and security.
Two arrests were made amid the disturbance and one fan was taken to hospital with head injuries but no players’ family members were hurt.
Wolves manager O’Neil said there had not been any doubt among his players during the delay that the game should be completed.
He said in a press conference: “They weren’t unsure, I think they’re a resilient group. We put big faith in the people that are in charge, the police and safety officer and officials, to only put us into situations that they think are safe.
“We came to do a job. Of course, I sit here and answer questions around the other stuff, but the main aim of today and of all week was to get a team ready to come here and win, and I don’t think that should be lost in it either.
“I think it’s really important that the lads get the credit for what was a fantastic win away from home at West Brom, in really tough circumstances.
“It’s been 28 years since we’ve been here and won and, in the end, 2-0, was fairly comfortable. We dealt with a tough atmosphere and a good side. The lads were really professional and managed to get the job done.”
West Brom boss Carlos Corberan said his players also wanted to play on.
“We wanted to play the game,” he said. “The referee wanted to keep playing the game, Wolves players and coaches wanted to keep playing the game.
“And the situation for me, the word was that the safety people in the stadium had made a very good job to allow a restart of the game. That was the target that we had.”
Corberan, whose side had trailed 1-0 at the interval to a Pedro Neto goal, felt the atmosphere prior to the crowd trouble had been of an intensity that can help his side as they chase promotion from the Championship.
He said: “It was an unbelievable atmosphere. If we are able to replicate this – we will not talk about the incident – if they keep supporting the team as they were doing for the rest of the league, they can help us a lot because they give you an extra level of energy.”