Wolves faith­ful bay for blood

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Michael Beard­more

HUN­DREDS of an­gry Wolves fans in­vaded the Mo­lineux pitch to di­rect their fury at the board af­ter de­feat to ten-man Burn­ley put them on the verge of back-to­back rel­e­ga­tions.

Goals from Danny Ings and Martin Pater­son took Wan­der­ers’ Cham­pi­onship sur­vival out of their own hands as Burn­ley hung on de­spite Michael Duff’s dis­missal and Nouha Dicko’s late strike for Wolves.

It means Wolves must win at play­off-bound Brighton on the fi­nal day of the sea­son to have any hope of avoid­ing the drop – and even then they will be re­liant on both Barns­ley and Peter­bor­ough los­ing.

The vo­cal group of fans made it clear where they place the blame – chant­ing ‘you’re send­ing us down’ at the ex­ec­u­tive boxes – as League One beck­ons for a club in the Premier­ship 12 months ago.

But boss Dean Saun­ders said: “Ev­ery­body has to take the blame in this sit­u­a­tion. For­get this game, we should never be in the po­si­tion we have got our­selves in.

“The team has lost 80-odd games in the last four years and the fans have not had many good Sun­days. They are re­ally, re­ally frus­trated and I don’t blame them.

“What­ever hap­pens, whether we stay up or go down, I have to sort the club out from top to bot­tom and get the men­tal­ity right. It’s go­ing to be tough be­cause we’ve got play­ers on long con­tracts but I’ve got to do it.

“I’ve been in sit­u­a­tions like this be­fore – I walked into a mess at Don­caster when the team hadn’t won in six months and I had to sort that club out. They’ve won the league now and that’s what can hap­pen.

“We’re not dead yet but the odds are stacked against us and it’s out of our hands now.”

Wolves made a rous­ing start and Burn­ley keeper Lee Grant was re­lieved Tongo Doumbia’s 25-yarder went straight to him af­ter the stop­per’s aw­ful clear- ance, with three-quar­ters of the net gap­ing.

But Mo­lineux fell into a stunned si­lence on eight min­utes as Ings was given time to col­lect a low cross, turn and mea­sure a neat fin­ish into the bot­tom cor­ner from ten yards.

Dorus De Vries pro­duced a stun­ning save to pre­vent Sam Vokes’ near-post strike dou­bling Burn­ley’s lead but was help­less early in the sec­ond half as Pater­son smashed home Ings’ low cross from close range.

Burn­ley were then re­duced to ten as Duff saw a sec­ond yel­low for a trip on Kevin Doyle but it took un­til the 87th minute for Wolves to test Grant as he foiled Jack Robin­son’s 20-yard drive.

Dicko gave Wolves hope from the re­sult­ing cor­ner, but Burn- ley saw out stop­page time with no ma­jor alarms to en­sure their own safety.

Clarets boss Sean Dy­che said: “It was a very awkward game for both sides and I was very pleased with the way our side found the clar­ity of thought to play, rather than get in­volved in a scrap.

“Part of our game plan was to keep the ball, make the crowd ner­vous and hope­fully make the op­po­si­tion ner­vous.

“There were some very good in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances and I’m ob­vi­ously very pleased tac­ti­cally with how we man­aged to see the vic­tory out with just ten men.”

VENT­ING FRUS­TRA­TION: Wolves fans in­vade the pitch in protest at the fi­nal whis­tle as rel­e­ga­tion looms

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

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