WOLVES ROAR PAST TEN MEN
WOLVES manager Kenny Jackett insists his streamlined squad are in tip-top shape for the season run-in as they moved into an automatic promotion spot with victory over Bradford City.
Playing against ten men for over an hour following Nathan Doyle’s red card for two bookable offences, the hosts finally made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time through Kevin McDonald.
Nouha Dicko then doubled their advantage shortly after the break for his third goal in three games since moving from Wigan, as Wolves made it four straight wins.
It also saw them leapfrog Leyton Orient into second spot and Jackett admits his team are well placed to sustain their promotion push.
“I’m delighted with the win. It makes it very tight at the top. Now we’re looking to be fit and strong as we possibly can over the last 17 games,” he said.
“I felt our football was good again. Perhaps we didn’t do enough with it in and around the box. But we got two goals and a very good cleansheet – so we can’t complain.
“The goal just before half-time was crucial. It gave us a big lift going into the break. I’m very pleased with the consistency we’re showing at the moment.
“We’re looking to push on now and earn that automatic place come the end of the season.
“We’ve trimmed the squad and now we need to work hard on the training pitch to make sure we’re as strong as we possibly can be.”
Wolves started brightly but struggled to find a way past Jon McLaughlin, who denied Dicko and Richard Stearman in quick succession.
Despite being reduced to ten men on 28 minutes, Doyle’s dismissal seemed to rally the visitors with Adam Reach hitting the bar.
And while McDonald gave his side the lead, Stephen Darby came within inches of restoring parity after the break when his fierce drive struck the upright before Dicko tapped home on 57 minutes.
City’s Darby then cleared off the line to deny Leon Clarke and while disappointed with the sending off, Bantams manager Phil Parkinson was quick to salute his side’s battling display.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more from the lads,” he said. “I thought they were outstanding, particularly our defence who were up against a strike force that Wolves have just spent £1 million on.
“I thought the referee could have managed the first tackle better, but the second was a rash challenge by Nathan and he should have known better.
“Playing ten against 11 for so long was a massive ask of our team.
“That goal on the stroke of halftime was a crushing blow for morale.
“There were a lot of tired legs out there. It was important that we didn’t get beat by a bigger margin, as that can knock confi
RED MIST: Nathan Doyle is sent off for Bradford STAR MAN NOUHA DICKO Wolves BIG MAC: Kevin McDonald, left, celebrates after scoring Wolves’ opening goal