WHAM BAM AND THANK YOU, TAM!

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Richard Latham

TAMMY ABRA­HAM’S twogoal salvo took his tally for the sea­son to 24 and earned rich praise from Bris­tol City head coach Lee Johnson.

Af­ter Jamie Pater­son had fired the rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened hosts in front, Chelsea loa­nee Abra­ham eased their fears still fur­ther with a 39th-minute penalty and an in­stinc­tive fin­ish shortly af­ter half-time.

Wolves had gone into the game on a five-match win­ning streak in the Cham­pi­onship, but all they could man­age was a 78th-minute con­so­la­tion from sub­sti­tute Jon Dadi Bod­vars­son as City eased four points clear of the drop zone.

Af­ter the 5-0 thrash­ing at Pre­ston in mid­week Johnson was look­ing for a pos­i­tive re­ac­tion, and couldn’t have been hap­pier.

“I have never doubted our abil­ity to stay up, but at times per­for­mances have had me tear­ing my hair out,” he said.

“Here we played with en­ergy and got the ba­sics right. The job is far from done be­cause we did the same against Huddersfield in our pre­vi­ous home game and then re­ally strug­gled in two away matches.

“Tammy Abra­ham is a young player who re­ally cares. He ac­tu­ally apol­o­gises to me when he plays poorly, which says a lot about his ma­tu­rity.

“I so en­joy work­ing with him. His fin­ish for his sec­ond goal said ev­ery­thing. Most of his goals come from close range be­cause his move­ment is so good.

“Af­ter con­ced­ing five at Pre­ston, I needed to pick play­ers I could trust and the re­ac­tion was just as I had hoped.”

Pater­son pro­duced a su­perb right-footed fin­ish from the edge of the box to open the scor­ing on 33 min­utes fol­low­ing good work from Matt Tay­lor.

Six min­utes later Abra­ham con­fi­dently sent Wolves keeper Andy Lon­er­gan the wrong way from the spot af­ter Matt Do­herty had brought down Mark Lit­tle in the box.

Abra­ham’s clever flick from a low Korey Smith cross soon af­ter the break made it 3-0 and had Ash­ton Gate rock­ing.

Wolves did re­ply when Bod­vars­son beat Frank Field­ing from close range af­ter a Lee Evans shot was de­flected into his path. But it was too lit­tle too late.

Things might have been dif­fer­ent had Field­ing not pro­duced an out­stand­ing ninth-minute save, ad­vanc­ing to meet Nouha Dicko with the striker clean through on goal.

And Wolves man­ager Paul Lam­bert saw it as a key mo­ment. “It would have been in­ter­est­ing had Nouha scored be­cause af­ter Bris­tol’s re­sult at Pre­ston their crowd might have turned on them,” he said.

“I am not go­ing to have a go at my play­ers be­cause they have been bril­liant in re­cent games. But we fell be­low the high stan­dards we have set our­selves and when you do that in the Cham­pi­onship you in­vari­ably end up get­ting beaten.”

The re­sult leaves Wolves 15th in the ta­ble and with seem­ingly lit­tle to fight for, although Lam­bert doesn’t see it that way.

“All good things come to an end, but we are cer­tainly not go­ing to pre­tend our sea­son is over,” he added. “There are six games left and it is im­por­tant that we look to win as many as pos­si­ble.”

The re­sult lifted heavy pres­sure on Johnson, who was pub­licly backed by City owner Steve Lans­down be­fore the game.

“Lee will be in charge next sea­son if he keeps us up,” said Lans­down.

PIC­TURE: ProS­ports/Gary Lear­month

DOU­BLE TROU­BLE: Tammy Abra­ham nets to ease the Robins’ rel­e­ga­tion fears

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