WARY JACK­ETT LOOKS OVER HIS SHOUL­DER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beardmore

AFIFTH win on the bounce set sec­ond-placed Wolves up nicely for next weekend’s mas­sive clash at lead­ers Brent­ford – but cau­tious boss Kenny Jack­ett is look­ing down not up.

A dou­ble from mid­fielder Michael Ja­cobs handed Wolves a three-point cush­ion over third-placed Ley­ton Ori­ent and kept vis­i­tors County mired in the bot­tom four.

Wolves also have a game in hand over the O’s in the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion race but Jack­ett in­sists there is too long to go this sea­son to get car­ried away.

Jack­ett said: “Ori­ent are very much in it and so are Pre­ston and Rother­ham be­cause of the amount of games to play – with nine points to play for in an eight-day pe­riod, things can turn around.

“I don’t think there is enough of a gap to say we’re away from them – we’re just in a good po­si­tion to cap­i­talise and we can look at our own games rather than hope oth­ers slip up. It’s in our hands.

“The Brent­ford game is one to look for­ward to, we have to be en­thu­si­as­tic about it right now and re­ally look for­ward to the chal­lenge be­cause it is a big chal­lenge for us.

“The stakes are so high and we are des­per­ate to be suc­cess­ful this sea­son and, look­ing at it, we have a very good op­por­tu­nity to do that.”

Wolves were rarely in trou­ble from the mo­ment Ja­cobs leapt ma­jes­ti­cally to beat Manny Smith in the air and pow­er­fully head home Scott Gol­bourne’s 16th minute cross.

County’s only first-half chance came on the half-hour, Cal­lum McGre­gor drag­ging a great open­ing wide af­ter James Spencer’s back-heel.

Wolves had chances to dou­ble their lead but Bar­tosz Bialkowski thwarted two rock­ets from Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko scuffed a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity wide from ten yards af­ter the break.

But Ja­cobs put the game to bed on 53 min­utes as his spec­u­la­tive daisy­cut­ter from 25 yards sneaked in off the foot of Bialkowski’s post.

Bialkowski pre­vented a rout by foil­ing James Henry and Dicko while Jack Gre­al­ish could have pulled one back for County but missed a sit­ter, head­ing Ja­mal Camp­bell-Ryce’s cross over from four yards.

It was a fourth de­feat in five games for County boss Shaun Derry, who said: “At 1-0, Cal­lum goes through and if you want it to fall to any­body in a Notts County shirt, it’s him, but un­for­tu­nately he didn’t hit the tar­get.

“But I’m clutch­ing at straws if I’m hon­est, I thought the best team def­i­nitely won. It’s like when you go to a top six in the Pre­mier League – they are added points if you get any­thing from these type of games. You have to be ab­so­lutely right on top of your game.

“I’m def­i­nitely look­ing at the bot­tom eight or nine teams, those we have to play be­tween now and the end of the sea­son, those are the ones that will de­fine where we stand

come May. But I’m con­fi­dent.”

WOLVES: (4-5-1): Ikeme 6, Gol­bourne 8, Stear­man 7, Batth 8, Rick­etts 7, Sako 8 (Evans 82 5), Ja­cobs 9, McDon­ald 7, Price 7, Henry 7, Dicko 7 Subs not used: McCarey, Do­herty, Elokobi, Ebanks-Lan­dell, Keita, McAlin­den

NOTTS COUNTY: (4-4-2): Bialkowski 8, Roberts 5, Shee­han 5, Smith 5, Free­man 4, Gre­al­ish 6, Mullins 5, Bou­caud 5 (Fother­ing­ham 77 5), Camp­bell-Ryce 7, McGre­gor 5 (Ap­piah 60 5), Spencer 5 (Mur­ray 60 5) Subs not used: Speiss, Hol­lis, Tem­pest, Showunmi

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

GOLDEN BOYS: Michael Ja­cobs cel­e­brates scor­ing Wolves’ first goal with team­mates

ON THE STRETCH: Nouha Dicko takes a shot for Wolves

STAR MAN MICHA

EL JA­COB

S Wolves

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