If anything summed up Wolves’ last few weeks, it was their performance against Burnley on Monday evening.
Without Raul Jimenez, Nuno Santo’s men struggled in front of goal and ultimately, fell to a 2-1 defeat.
The concerning part of this was that they couldn’t even blame their formation. It was a four-man backline that saw them suffer back to back defeats to Liverpool and Aston Villa but on this occasion, Nuno went with his tried and tested three-man defence.
It was a strange XI with the likes of Rayan Ait-Nouri and Owen Otasowie given rare starts. They didn’t do much to vindicate their selection with Fabio Silva coming off the bench and nearly rescuing a dejected Wolves side.
Defensively, they were absolutely bullied by the high ball of Burnley who hit them on the counter-attack and scored two sweeping goals.
A large part of the poor defensive performance was down to Romain Saiss, someone who was caught out of position and in no man’s land for Ashley Barnes’ opener.
Even worse than him, though, was Max Kilman. The defender has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Molineux but unfortunately, this was one of his poorest displays to date.
Playing at right centre-back, his communication with skipper Conor Coady was clearly lacking. He didn’t step up at the correct times which allowed Burnley to get in behind on a few occasions.
Kilman struggled with the speed of the Clarets’ counter but also with the high balls, winning just one of the six duels he contested throughout the tie. That meant the youngster lost a colossal 83.6% of his tackles and headers.
For a Wolves defence that prides itself on playing from the back, his passing was also poor, amassing a success rate of only 76%. Furthermore, Kilman made two fouls which allowed Burnley to gather precious time in the closing moments of the clash.
The 23-year-old has rarely put a foot wrong since being thrust into the first-team but this was a concerning performance, one that will leave Nuno rather annoyed.
With competition for places at the back fiercely competitive in this Wolves side, he will have to show improvement.