English Premiership

Wolves on brink of relegation

2012-04-14 19:05
Wolves logo (File)

Sunderland - Wolves edged closer towards relegation from the English Premiership as their winless run under caretaker manager Terry Connor continued with a goalless draw at Sunderland.

The Molineux club are eight points from safety with just four games remaining, and have now failed to win in all nine of their matches since Connor replaced Mick McCarthy.

This result secured only their second point under Connor, and Wolves were marginally the better side in a desperately poor encounter at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland hardly created a chance of note all afternoon, and having performed superbly since Martin O'Neill was appointed in December, their season is threatening to end with a whimper.

The Black Cats drew 0-0 with Tottenham in their previous home game and find themselves back in the bottom half of the table, having risen as high as seventh position in recent weeks.

Sunderland's mid-table position means they have little to play for in the final month of the season, and there was a general lack of urgency in the home side's play throughout.

Seb Larsson should have done better with an early shot that failed to find the target, before James McClean shot wide at the culmination of a slick passing move that also involved Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon.

However, with Jack Colback and Craig Gardner failing to stamp their authority on the heart of midfield, Sunderland lacked fluency and impetus before the break.

Wolves were no better, although the visitors' dire recent form perhaps explained their unwillingness to commit too many players into an attacking position.

Anthony Forde tested Simon Mignolet with a 25-yard curler in the tenth minute, but despite Steven Fletcher's willingness to drag defenders into the channels, the Premier League's bottom side rarely looked like piercing a Sunderland rearguard that was again without injured duo John O'Shea and Wes Brown.

At least they were more reliable at the back than they have been recently, although they were grateful for goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey's reflexes 14 minutes before the break.

Sessegnon's low shot was creeping inside the left-hand post until Hennessey got down well to turn it around the upright.

Chances remained at a premium in the second half, even if Wolves' need for three points meant they gradually began to become more frenetic in their attacking play.

Forde's low shot was easily saved by Mignolet, before Sylvan Ebanks-Blake wasted his side's first clear sight of goal in the 61st minute by failing to find the target.

Fletcher teed up his fellow striker in the right-hand side of the area, but Ebanks-Blake shanked his shot wide of the upright.

Wolves had the ball in the net with 12 minutes left, but while Fletcher rolled home from close range, the effort was disallowed for a foul by Ebanks-Blake on Mignolet.

Sunderland created next to nothing in the second half, but almost grabbed an undeserved winner with 60 seconds left.

Sessegnon skewed an attempted shot across the face of the area, and Larsson stabbed the ball over the crossbar despite being unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.

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