LIVELY LE FON­DRE TURNS THE TIDE

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Dave Good­er­ham

KENNY JACK­ETT and Mick McCarthy were singing from the same foot­balling hymn sheet af­ter Ip­swich Town and Wolves played out an en­ter­tain­ing draw at Port­man Road.

Pleased with the per­for­mance but call­ing on their play­ers to cut out the de­fen­sive mis­takes was the mantra of both man­agers.

Jack­ett de­served plau­dits af­ter his de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce Adam Le Fon­dre along­side Benik Afobe changed the com­plex­ion of the game, the two com­bin­ing in the 75th minute for Wolves’ sec­ond equaliser, scored by the lat­ter.

The Wolves boss sin­gled out Le Fon­dre for praise, but also hailed the char­ac­ter shown by his team in what has been a stut­ter­ing Cham­pi­onship cam­paign.

Jack­ett said: “We de­served a point but I don’t think we de­served to win. I was very pleased with how we came from be­hind twice and we showed great char­ac­ter.

“Ip­swich are a good side and this is a tough place to come – so I would have taken a point at the start.

“Adam Le Fon­dre did really well when he came on, both his as­sist for the sec­ond equaliser and his over­all at­ti­tude. When we went to two up front, the game opened up and we had chances to win the game on the break.

“We need to start climb­ing the ta­ble but this match was a snap­shot of our sea­son.

“We need to cut out the in­con­sis­ten­cies in our game and iron out those cer­tain mis­takes which are cost­ing us goals. Then when we score, like you saw here, it gives you a burst of con­fi­dence.”

It was an odd match with Ip­swich tak­ing the lead against the run of play and Wolves equal­is­ing when the home side were in the as­cen­dancy.

Jonathan Dou­glas opened the scor­ing with a neat fin­ish be­fore Wolves equalised be­fore the break thanks to James Henry’s close-range fin­ish.

Af­ter Daryl Mur­phy had con­tin­ued his rich re­turn to form with a 54thminute header, a largely life­less sec­ond half was played out as Ip­swich ap­peared to be some­what coast­ing to vic­tory.

But the in­tro­duc­tion of Le Fon­dre, af­ter he re­turned to ac­tion with two goals in a be­hind-closed-doors friendly at Liver­pool in mid­week, made all the dif­fer­ence.

Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith, who had pre­vi­ously looked com­fort­able against Afobe, found the lively Le Fon­dre a con­stant thorn in their side.

And it was the for­mer Read­ing man who turned provider when his cross was headed home by Afobe to score his eighth of the sea­son af­ter the striker ghosted in be­tween two Ip­swich de­fend­ers.

In a game full of twists and turns, a draw was prob­a­bly just about right with Ip­swich in­ci­sive go­ing for­ward but de­fen­sively sloppy at times.

McCarthy’s men are just three points off sixth place but a fur­ther seven away from Burn­ley in fifth as the ta­ble starts to take shape.

McCarthy said: “I’m pleased with our per­for­mance but dis­ap­pointed with the goals we con­ceded.

“We twice let them off the hook by twice al­low­ing them to get back into the game.We played well but the mis­takes makes it even more frus­trat­ing that I am sat here with one point rather than three.

“When I look back on it on Mon­day, I will look at the pos­i­tives. We showed plenty of at­tack­ing threat but their first goal started with our at­tack on the edge of their area – that’s not right.We were ruth­less go­ing for­ward but not ruth­less enough at the back.

“It was an ex­cit­ing game and I am sure it was great to watch for any neu­tral.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

SI­LENCED: Wolves’ Benik Afobe cel­e­brates while, inset, Ip­swich Town’s Jonathan Dou­glas scores the opener

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