Friday 23 March 2018

Wolves have pep in their step afterheaping misery on under-fire Laws

Burnley 1
Wolves 2

Neil Johnston

If Brian Laws was wanting some comfort after Burnley supporters turned on him during defeat to relegation rivals Wolves, then he did not have far to look.

Next door, in the opposition dressing-room at Turf Moor, was Mick McCarthy, who three months earlier found himself on the receiving end of Wolves fans' fury after daring to field an under-strength side against Manchester United. Those same travelling fans applauded McCarthy and his players off the pitch at Turf Moor after a crucial victory.

But while the result has given the Black Country club renewed optimism in their fight to avoid relegation, Laws is facing mounting problems after his 10th Premier League game in charge of Burnley ended in an eighth defeat.

Three points adrift of safety with eight games remaining, Laws is running out of time. The manager felt the full force of Turf Moor's frustration after his decision to replace Chris Eagles with Steven Thompson, when Wolves were leading 2-0, was met with jeers.

Thompson justified his manager's move, reducing the deficit, but Wolves hung on, leading to more dissent.

"You can hear the frustration from the fans," said Thompson. "It's difficult as a player because you're frustrated as well -- if not more. It certainly doesn't help when you're on the pitch."

Of Burnley's remaining eight games, three are against Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, who are all locked into the race to finish fourth. Having won just once in 19 top-flight games, their fate could be sealed well before a final game at home to Spurs.

Wolves were allowed to take command after weathering an early home storm thanks to a terrible error by Tyrone Mears, the full-back's weak header to his keeper Brian Jensen falling short which allowed Matthew Jarvis to pounce. And Jensen fished the ball out of his net when Adlene Guedioura's effort from outside the area cannoned off Clarke Carlisle.

"We have not given ourselves a points target but if we can win another two or three we will be nearly there," said Jarvis. "This has given us more belief that we can do that."

Irish Independent

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