Buoy­ant Wolves cre­ate lit­tle bit of his­tory

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER - SEAN TAY­LOR

NUNO ESPIR­ITO SANTO is proud of the way his Wolves play­ers have bounced back from a dif­fi­cult run of re­sults to cre­ate a piece of club his­tory yes­ter­day, win­ning three straight top-flight matches for the first time in al­most 40 years.

Fol­low­ing suc­cesses against Chelsea and New­cas­tle in the past 10 days, it is the first time since March 1980 that Wolves have recorded a trio of con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries in the top divi­sion. Prior to the run, Nuno’s side had en­dured a mis­er­able six-game win­less streak which in­cluded five de­feats.

“I am very proud for the boys,” said the Wolves head coach. “They achieve it with hard work be­fore and hard work to­day and I am happy for the fans, too, as we achieve some­thing to­gether that is very spe­cial in the most dif­fi­cult com­pe­ti­tion in the world, so we have to be very proud.

“I truly be­lieve you have to take things as they come, win or lose, and keep be­liev­ing in how you want to do things and how you want to play. They were dif­fi­cult mo­ments, but we came through.”

Wolves’ day was damp­ened by a shoul­der in­jury sus­tained by Diogo Jota, who in­curred the prob­lem late in the first half and did not emerge af­ter half-time. He was re­placed by Helder Costa.

An early goal from Raul Jimenez and a late strike by sub­sti­tute Ivan Cavaleiro in­flicted a sixth de­feat in seven Premier League games on Bournemouth, who strug­gled to cre­ate chances.

Cher­ries boss, Ed­die Howe, said: “We had a lot of the ball, but bar Josh King’s early chance, we didn’t re­ally have a clin­i­cal chance. You don’t like los­ing and the play­ers have done so well his­tor­i­cally when we have been out of form and that will hope­fully be the case again.”

SALOMON RON­DON’S 55th-minute strike se­cured New­cas­tle their first vic­tory in four matches at a rain-sod­den John Smith’s Sta­dium. Ron­don fin­ished off a New­cas­tle break hav­ing been teed up by Javier Man­quillo.

Rafael Ben­itez’s men cel­e­brated a win for only the fourth time this sea­son, the day af­ter it emerged they had can­celled their Christ­mas party.

They are six points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone, in which David Wag­ner’s 18th-placed Hud­der­s­field re­main two adrift of safety.

The hosts made a fairly lively start to the con­test, do­ing most of the at­tack­ing for the re­main­der of the first half, dur­ing which the sta­dium flood­lights dimmed briefly on two oc­ca­sions.

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