Wolves boss Connor makes his point
Updated Saturday, 25th February 2012
Wolves manager Terry Connor made an instant impact as his side climbed out of the relegation zone after fighting back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Newcastle on Saturday.
Connor was handed the Wolves job until the end of the season on Friday at the conclusion of a chaotic search for a successor to Mick McCarthy, who was sacked following a 5-1 defeat against West Bromwich Albion earlier this month.
The likes of Steve Bruce, Walter Smith and Alan Curbishley were all linked with the job, but when those deals fell through McCarthy's assistant Connor was appointed to widespread dismay among the club's supporters.
Connor looked set for a chastening debut as Newcastle surged into a two-goal lead thanks to first half strikes from Papiss Demba Cisse and Jonas Gutierrez.
But Connor's half-time team-talk clearly breathed new life into his struggling team and Matt Jarvis reduced the deficit before Kevin Doyle grabbed the equaliser.
That was enough to lift Wolves out of the bottom three at Blackburn's expense and dent Newcastle's challenge for a top-four finish.
Alan Pardew's side had taken the lead in the sixth minute when Yohan Cabaye, back from his three-match suspension, caught Christophe Berra in possession and crossed for Demba Ba to audaciously back-heel a shot towards goal.
Wayne Hennessey pulled off a fine save to deny Ba, but after the ball was only half cleared, Cisse was perfectly placed to poke home from Cheick Tiote's pass.
Hennessey kept Newcastle at bay when he tipped Danny Simpson's searing drive over the bar, but he was beaten again in the 18th minute.
Doyle's clearing header dropped to Gutierrez and the Argentinian took a touch before rifling a shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
Cisse was denied his second goal when Stephen Ward covered superbly to block a shot in front of goal just before half-time.
The momentum shifted back to Wolves in the 50th minute when they enjoyed a slice of the sort of good fortune they will require to survive.
Jarvis cut inside from the left and fired in a shot which clipped full-back Simpson and looped high over goalkeeper Tim Krul and into the net.
Suddenly Wolves were playing with some confidence and Ward cut inside to test Krul with a deflected shot.
Pardew responded by sending on Hatem Ben Arfa and Danny Guthrie, but Wolves were level within seconds of their introduction in the 66th minute.
Mike Williamson headed Jamie O'Hara's free-kick straight at Doyle, who reacted first to the rebound to prod the ball into the bottom corner.