Wolves battled back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at QPR
KENNY JACKETT insists he still has his sights set on a play-off place following Wolves’ draw with QPR at Loftus Road.
Wolves and QPR went into this lunchtime kick-off seven and ten points respectively behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
And although neither side would have been happy to have shared the spoils after James Henry cancelled out Sebastian Polter’s early opener, Jackett is optimistic about the challenges ahead.
“We need a hell of a run to get to the play-offs, we know that, but it is still open,” said Wolves boss Jackett. “You have to believe that you can do that and as a side I don’t think we need the most additions.
“With the right and key additions we do feel as though we can certainly climb the table.
“Looking at the top sides, they look powerful and don’t look like they’re making many mistakes at the moment.
“But that can change over the coming months and we’ll perhaps need that to break in.
“You look at the spending power of Middlesbrough and Derby, and then you add to that the clubs with the parachute money, and you have some very strong squads in what is a good division.
“But we want to be part of it and we want to close the gap between us and them.
“We don’t feel like we’re far away, but there is a gap.We respect it, but we’re working hard to close it.”
QPR took the lead inside two minutes on a mild January afternoon in West London. Matt Phillips’ freekick was met with a powerful downward header by Polter to give Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme no chance.
The visitors drew level three minutes after the restart through Henry and a large slice of good fortune, as his speculative long-range effort took two deflections before trickling past Alex Smithies and into the centre of the net.
Neither side were content with a draw and that led to an open, end-to-end last half-hour.
Wolves had the greater share of possession and chances, with Smithies forced to make three saves in the space of a minute, but QPR came closest as substitute Tjaronn Chery struck a post late on.
A frustrating afternoon’s work for Hoops’ boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, but one he insisted his side can take positives from.
“I’m very happy with the performance of my players,” he said. “I’m very happy with the togetherness of my team, especial- ly in the first half when we looked good, very, very good. And don’t get me wrong, Wolves are a very good team.
“But it is what it is. It’s not the result that we wanted, but I’m very happy with the players.
“For us the important thing is that we keep on working, keep on doing the right things. You keep on doing the right things and those goals won’t be going in.
“Then we had a really good chance in the last minutes of the game to make it 2-1. I would back Chery every day of the week. Of ten chances like that he would score nine, and this was the one he didn’t score.”
And although Hasselbaink admitted a play-off berth will be a challenge, the Dutchman said it is one his players are up for.
“It’s going to be a big ask,” he added.
“Don’t get me wrong, we will try, we will do our best. But it’s one game at a time – and for us that is next Tuesday against Nottingham Forest.”
POINT: Wolves’ James Henry celebrates his equaliser. Inset, Sebastian Polter scores the opener for QPR