Wolves bat­tled back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at QPR

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Jamie Reid

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.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

POINT: Wolves’ James Henry cel­e­brates his equaliser. In­set, Se­bas­tian Polter scores the opener for QPR

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