Wolves have two matches to save their skinBy: DJ | April 23rd, 2013
The defeat at Charlton on Saturday saw Wolves return to the relegation positions, and now there are only two games left to achieve an improved league position and preserve their Championship status. The faith that they can avoid a second successive drop in divisions is being stretched to the limit and it’s likely to take another team in the danger zone to have a poor end to the season for survival to be achieved.
The overall performance at Charlton was not bad and not for the first time we saw a Dean Saunders side leave the field with less than they probably deserved. But that has happened too many times now for the sympathy to stretch too far and results are all that counts when the points are added up at the end of the season.
It was an equal and fairly uneventful first half with only a remarkable and uncharactersitic shot from Karl Henry from fully 40 yards that came back off the woodwork to stick in the mind. Wolves fell behind when a scuffed corner beat the near post cover and Charlton scrambled the ball in. The equaliser resulted from a Jack Robinson long throw flicked on by Johnson for Doyle to head his 4th goal in 7 games. And Wolves looked well worth and well set for a draw until a speculative long range shot in the last minute was blocked by the head of Robinson with the ball falling conveniently for a Charlton sub to get the winner.
The main positives on the day were the performances of Doumbia, Hunt and Doyle. And Henry had a more positive game, and the defensive foursome were better and looked generally solid. But they still conceded two despite De Vries having very little to do.
There have been a lot of games referred to as must win in recent times for Wolves but the game against Burnley at Molineux on Saturday is certainly that if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop. To be positive it is feasible that three points from that game would be enough to secure survival. Barnsley would need to get 4 points to finish above Wolves from a home game against a Hull team looking to clinch automatic promotion and an away game at improving Huddersfield. Or Peterborough would need to win either at home to Sheffield Wednesday or away at Crystal Palace.
Those scenarios are far from impossible but if either of those teams do get those points then Wolves are going to need something on the last day of the season at a Brighton team looking to secure a play off position. And Wolves may be hoping that the south coast team get enough from this weekend’s trip to Leeds to mean they don’t need a result on the last day. But whatever happens this weekend Wolves safety or relegation cannot be certain until the last game, and the 12:45 kick off for all the final fixtures on May 3rd will inevitably be a tense time.
There is so much that can and will be said about what has happened to Wolves over the last year or so, about the performances of the owner, Chief exec, managers and players. But all of that can wait a couple of weeks, because all that matters in the short term is that Wolves somehow end up in 21st or better at the end of the season and avoid a second successive drop in status.