Thursday 14 December 2017

Lambert backs 'top class' Hoolahan to recover from penalty miss

Jamie Holland

WES HOOLAHAN will remain on penalty duty for Norwich despite blowing the chance to inflict a first defeat of the season on Championship leaders QPR at Loftus Road.

The former Shelbourne star fluffed his big moment midway through the first half as the Canaries failed to score away from home in the league for the first time under Paul Lambert.

"His performances for me have been top class and he's scored his two previous penalties," Lambert said. "He'll bounce back. I won't have a problem with him taking the next one if he wants to."

At the other end of the table, Leeds boss Simon Grayson believes former Elland Road team-mate Gordon Strachan can handle the heat at struggling Middlesbrough.

Boro are 20th in the table after Leeds won 2-1 at the Riverside through Luciano Becchio's winner.

"Yes, Gordon is under pressure but he is tough," Grayson said. "He's a fighter; he was as a player and he is as a manager. He can handle it."


Boro fans were calling for Strachan to be sacked after a sixth defeat of the season, while in stark contrast, Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers thanked the Reading supporters for a pleasant return to the Madejski Stadium.

Rodgers was back at Reading for the first time since his dismissal as Royals manager last season, but the Swans chief enjoyed his return after a 1-0 win thanks to Scott Sinclair's first-half strike.

Derby coach Gary Crosby paid tribute to Robbie Savage's "fantastic achievement" after the midfielder scored in the 600th appearance of his career in a 3-0 win against Preston.

Cardiff closed the gap on leaders QPR to four points with a second-half comeback capped by a Peter Whittingham double in a 3-2 win over Bristol City.

Coventry ripped up the form book at Portman Road where they ran out 2-1 winners against high-flying Ipswich thanks to goals from Clive Platt and Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Mark Yeates' goal deep into injury-time denied Brian Laws' Burnley victory in a six-goal thriller at Sheffield United.

Dean Marney and Chris Eagles put Burnley 2-0 up before the Blades hit back through Daniel Bogdanovic and Matthew Lowton. Jay Rodriguez put the Clarets back in front, but Yeates made it 3-3 in the fourth minute of injury-time.

New Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has targeted more loan signings after his first game in charge ended with the Foxes in the relegation zone.

Andy King gave the home side a third-minute lead against Hull, but Robert Koren equalised for the Tigers.

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