LEON LEAVES IT LATE FOR KENNY
WOLVES boss Kenny Jackett has urged his men to establish themselves as a Championship side after squeezing past Sheffield Wednesday.
Substitute Leon Clarke scored with his first touch of the game as Wolves defeated Sheffield Wednesday to end a miserable run of five straight defeats.
Wolves, who were promoted from League One last season, started the season well and had lost just one of their previous 13 games before their recent dip in form.
“Five defeats in a row is not nice. It starts to eat away at confidence and you start to look for a draw to stop the rot,” said Jackett.
“We have been competitive in the last two games and have shown improvement.
“Our back four was solid here, as was the goalkeeper, and we put in another competitive display.
“I thought it was a good endto-end game. We came through some tough periods and scored a quality goal to win it.
“We are new to this division and it is important we continue to adapt. We have been faced with tough opponents in recent games and that is part of the challenge.
“We need to realise what playing teams like Sheffield Wednesday away is all about.We are improving and want to establish ourselves as a force in this league.”
But Wednesday boss Stuart Gray was again left cursing his side’s lack of cutting edge.
“I cannot believe we did not get our noses in front here,” said Gray.
“We could not have asked for a better start and could have been 3-0 up in the first 20 mins.
“Wolves got in at the break level when they probably shouldn’t have been and that gave them a chance in the second half.
“We knew that one lapse of concentration could cost us with the pace of their wingers on the counter.
“The game was too open in the second half and we were punished for some poor marking. Stevie May will be disappointed with the chances he has missed. He cannot sulk and he will have to bounce back.
“I am happy with the performance, but not the result. You cannot question the desire, we just lacked the quality needed.”
Richard Stearman cleared off the Wolves goalline on five minutes to block May’s weak shot as Wednesday started well.
James Henry then blazed over from 12 yards after Wolves ripped Wednesday open on the break.
Royston Drenthe fired a spectacular volley over on 19 minutes, before Glenn Loovens headed just wide from Drenthe’s corner as the home side dominated.
May should have done better on 35 minutes when he failed to get his shot away after getting goalside of his man.
Wolves continued to threaten on the counter and Danny Graham fired agonisingly wide after Dominic Iorfa’s pass opened up Wednesday on 43 minutes.
A minute later the wasteful May again broke the visitors’ offside trap before firing wide.
The poor finishing continued when Rajiv van La Parra fired over with the goal gaping after Keiren Westwood parried Kevin McDon- ald’s effort into this path a minute after the restart.
Westwood got down well to block Van La Parra’s shot on 83 minutes, before Drenthe fired just wide from 20 yards as the game started to open up.
Kenny Jackett introduced former Wednesday striker Clarke on 84 minutes in an attempt to break the deadlock, and the Wolves manager got an immediate reward.
Clarke raced in unmarked to get on the end of McDonald’s perfect cross and fire home from close range with his first touch of the game to seal the points.
TIMELY FINISH: Leon Clarke pounces to give Wolves all three points
OUCH! Stevie May reflects on a missed chance
STAR MAN KEVIN MCDON