WOLVES ARE PROMOTED
But Jackett wants to top table before the party gets started
KENNY Jackett called on Wolves to go up as champions after confirming their Championship return with the win over struggling Crewe at the Alexandra Stadium.
Kevin McDonald’s deflected firsthalf opener and David Edwards’ effort sandwiched Chuks Aneke’s red card to ensure automatic promotion from League One at the first attempt.
And Wolves boss Jackett believes his side’s defensive solidity has been the bedrock of their success which has enabled them to bounce back in convincing style.
“It’s fantastic and a great feeling to get promotion with four games to go and now for us we have to look forward to try and get the title,” he said.
“We’re in a great position with Brentford losing to be able to do that. Then we can have a summer planning with enthusiasm at next season in the Championship.
“We definitely want to go up as champions – we want to finish first and it’s in our hands.
“We’ll be pushing with everything we’ve got to try and do that. After that we’ll be genuinely excited about heading back to the Championship.
“Our defensive record has been excellent and that consistency has made it through.
“We didn’t give them anything and we got our goals at good times.
While we were concentrating on the game, the thought of a win putting us up was always there and we handled both situations very well.”
Despite Wolves dominating the early stages, Richard Stearman breathed a sigh of relief on 11 minutes when his pass was intercepted by Aneke who fed in Uche Ikpeazu but the on-loan Watford man shot tamely at Carl Ikeme.
Lee Evans could have given Wolves a 33rd minute lead but his diving header failed to connect with Nouha Dicko’s right-wing cross.
The League One high-flyers continued to apply pressure and moments later Michael Jacobs jinked his way through the Crewe midfield to curl a 25-yard effort towards Ben Garratt who parried wide. McDonald broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when his shot from outside the area found its way past a stranded Garratt following a deflection.
Aneke was shown a straight red by referee Darren Bond after the halftime whistle for allegedly elbowing Stearman who fell to the ground clutching his face.
After the break Wolves looked to capitalise with their extra man and full-back Scott Golbourne found Bakary Sako on the edge of the box who curled an effort that sailed just wide.
Crewe winger Bradden Inman wasted a glorious 62nd minute opportunity for the Railwaymen by overhitting a pass to a through on goal Ikpeazu, much to the home supports’ frustration. And they were made to rue the missed chance as Edwards added Wolves’ second to bring their Championship return closer with a confident and composed 67th minute finish.
A pitch invasion from the visiting fans then followed the final whistle as Wolves confirmed their place back in English football’s second tier with their 28th league win of the season.
Crewe boss Steve Davis believed the game changed in the space of a few moments.
“The game changed in that five minute period with the deflected goal – I think it clipped one of our defenders – and then the sending off which I didn’t really see,” he said.
“Obviously with it being Chuks he’s the nicest guy on the pitch so it certainly wouldn’t have been intentional, that’s for sure. I’m not even sure it was him, it might have been Uche so we’re not even sure he got the right guy so I’ll have a look at it before I make a judgement.
“Playing Wolves at home is hard enough with 11 men, never mind ten. It was about trying to get as much out of them as we could and if we maybe had that one chance we could get back in the game.We just had a go and kept going and I couldn’t fault their effort.”
SELFIES: Wolves’ Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko are photographed by fans after being promoted to the Championship
ON THE UP: Wolves fans show their support STAR MAN MICHA