UGLY WOLVES BOOED OFF AT MOLINEUX
PAUL Lambert has hit on a novel approach to keep Wolves in the Championship – play badly.
Lambert’s men have been dragged into a relegation dogfight after five defeats and a draw, and were lucky to end that winless run against doomed Rotherham.
Andreas Weimann’s strike on the stroke of half-time earned Wolves a precious three points they barely deserved as Danny Ward, twice, and Semi Ajayi missed golden chances for the Millers.
Wolves were booed off despite the win as the Molineux faithful remained unconvinced – but Lambert was just happy to win ugly, rather than lose prettily.
Lambert said: “It was probably the worst we’ve played in a few months but we won. That was the most important thing, everything else was immaterial.
“We’ve played so much better recently and come away from nothing. I’ve been sick and fed up of saying we’ve played well and lost despite dominating games. It had to stop.
“We got the breaks and it was a little bit fortuitous, but a win’s a win. Somebody asked me (on Friday) if I would take playing badly and win, and that was certainly the case.
“You could sense the edginess right from the off. It’s difficult but we came through it and credit to the players because it takes a lot of bravery when the stadium is so anxious.
“The booing is not nice to hear when you’ve won, but I have nothing but praise for Wolves fans. They’ve been brilliant since I’ve been here.”
The game between the two teams bottom of the Championship form table hinged on Rotherham’s three big chances.
Twice in the opening 20 minutes, Tom Adeyemi pounced on stray passes from edgy Wolves players to send Ward clean through.
But twice the Millers’ top scorer – without a goal in eight games – fired straight at keeper Carl Ikeme when one-on-one.
Then, at the death, Rotherham should have snatched a point but defender Ajayi, given the freedom of the six-yard box, skied over to leave Wanderers breathing a sigh of relief.
Ajayi was the villain at both ends in both periods of stoppage time. It was his dawdling at the end of the first half that allowed Weimann to nip in and round keeper Lewis Price to tap home.
It was harsh on Rotherham and, particularly Price, who made an excellent 34th-minute penalty save from Helder Costa after Joe Mattock had wrestled the Portuguese wide man down in the area.
The second half was a non-event, apart from Price saving well from a Costa snapshot and Wolves sub Jon Dadi Bodvarsson lashing inches over.
Then came Ajayi’s stoppagetime sitter, leaving Millers interim boss Paul Warne bewildered how his side had slipped to an 11th straight away defeat.
Warne said: “I thought we were the better team. We created three really good chances and I think our season was summed up by Semi’s chance late on.
“We competed against a significantly better side than ours – but there wasn’t many of their team that I would pick out and want in my dressing room.”
On Ward’s chances, Warne added: “Wardy’s hugely disappointed and I’ve got to pick him up now because he feels like he’s let his team-mates down which he hasn’t. He gives his all every week.”
FLAT OUT: Andreas Weimann scores the winner. Inset: Weimann celebrates