WHAM BAM AND THANK YOU, TAM!
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.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Tammy Abraham nets to ease the Robins’ relegation fears