Having admitted he had been deliberately damping down talk about Peter Crouch's chances of being selected for England's Euro 2012 squad, the Stoke City manager Tony Pulis finally came clean.
"I was hoping people would come and have a look for themselves but the cat is out of the bag: Crouchy is playing as well as he's ever played," said the Welshman after another fine goal by the striker won this match.
His main point, essentially, was that the 31-year-old would give options to whoever is eventually chosen to manage the national side. "Peter's not just one-dimensional, he can come on and score all types of goals," said Pulis. "If you're chasing games and have to play forward earlier, have to get the ball in the box, for me there's no one better, and he's shown it over the season. Not at a top club – at a club that's developing."
Crouch's goal, a superbly directed header from Jermaine Pennant's free-kick, was in its own way almost as fine a finish as his volleyed goal against Manchester City a fortnight ago. It was a singular moment of quality in an otherwise poor game in which Wolves, for the third match in succession, failed to protect a lead.
You could only feel sympathy for Terry Connor, who has now lost six of the seven games since the former coach took over from the sacked manager Mick McCarthy. After Jon Walters had missed a sitter for Stoke and Michael Kightly had fortuitously put Wolves ahead, Connor must have hoped his fortunes had finally changed, but Robert Huth's equaliser came cruelly quick. The presence in the stands of Gary Megson and his former assistant at Bolton and Sheffield Wednesday, Chris Evans, suggested Wolves are considering relieving Connor of his duties before the end of the season.
Connor, the former Leeds striker, was dignity personified afterwards. "I was asked to look after the first team until the 13th of May and then the club will take stock, whichever division we are in," he said.
"[After that] I'm quite prepared to work as a coach, as an assistant or a manager – I'd just like to be employed come the 13th of May. But I have been in football long enough to know that managers like to bring in people they like to work with, so I'm not under any illusions."
For Crouch, being given the opportunity to build on his record of 22 goals in 42 appearances for his country is an increasingly realistic goal. "I said at the start of the season if I was doing well for Stoke and scoring goals, I'd have a chance," he said.
Pulis smiled. "He's absolutely desperate to play for England, and I mean desperate. He'd walk over there [to Poland and Ukraine] if he had to."
Man of the match Peter Crouch (Stoke)