MAGIC MIKE

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Tim Ever­shed

WOLVES boss Kenny Jack­ett shined the spot­light on Mike Wil­liamson for help­ing steady the ship at Wolves, as the on-loan de­fender helped his side keep a rare clean sheet.

De­fences were well and truly on top in this match as the teams and for­ma­tions can­celled each other out. As well as four cen­tre-halves that all en­joyed an ex­cel­lent game, the cen­tre of mid­field be­came bogged down with play­ers fo­cussed on de­fen­sive du­ties who rarely raided for­ward.

How­ever, it is the home side who will be the hap­pier hav­ing fin­ished the stronger and put a dis­mal per­for­mance at Bris­tol City firmly be­hind them by hold­ing one of the top teams.

Jack­ett said: “I felt we started ner­vously. As the game wore on we grew in con­fi­dence, passed the ball well and got a high num­ber of balls into the box. Fair play to Burn­ley’s cen­tre-backs, they were hard from us to get away from and headed an aw­ful lot of balls out of the box.

“We’re frus­trated with a 0-0 draw. I felt a lot of our play go­ing for­ward was very con­struc­tive. We looked more like our­selves af­ter a poor dis­play on Tues­day night.

“Af­ter ship­ping a good num­ber of goals, it is good to have the re­turn of a clean sheet. That has co­in­cided with Mike Wil­liamson play­ing and bring­ing a de­gree of phys­i­cal pres­ence for us. We’ve been pleased with him in the three games we’ve had.”

There was lit­tle in­di­ca­tion of what was about to un­fold in the open­ing min­utes as the vis­i­tors poured for­ward and Scott Ar­field called Emil­iano Martinez into ac­tion at the end of the game’s first move.

And the Ar­gen­tine stop­per had to be alert again two min­utes later as An­dre Gray fired a goal­bound shot, al­beit one lack­ing in power.

At the other end James Henry wasted lit­tle time in test­ing out Ben Mee. He gave the Clarets left-back a tor­rid af­ter­noon, one which was com­pounded by in­jury prob­lems and was ended early by sub­sti­tu­tion.

Henry won a free-kick in a dan­ger­ous po­si­tion af­ter 14 min­utes and Wolves tried a train­ing ground rou­tine but the op­por­tu­nity went beg­ging. Wolves needed Henry’s spark go­ing for­ward as Dave

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

KEEP­ING IT TIGHT: Wolves de­fender Mike Wil­liamson keeps a close check on Burn­ley’s Sam Vokes

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