The side who sacked their manager last week are looking decidedly better off than the one who did not after this result. Wolves, who parted with Dave Jones, put significant daylight between themselves and the bottom three while Forest, who hung on to Joe Kinnear, are beginning to look worryingly entrenched.
A third consecutive home win from a confident Wolves suggests the Molineux board may have acted in haste. That appeared to be the view of many in the crowd, who voiced support for Jones and dismay with the directors, particularly at the suggestion that Gary Megson, sacked by arch-rivals West Bromwich Albion, might be his successor.
By contrast, Forest seem so far to be sticking by Kinnear, despite a record of two wins in 18 matches that leaves them five points adrift of 21st place. Forest paraded one fresh face in Adam Nowland, the 23-year-old former Wimbledon midfielder signed for £250,000 from West Ham on Friday, but the arrival of the new man in the technical area must wait until Wednesday's League Cup tie against Fulham at the City Ground.
Mick Harford, who had been director of football at Luton, starts work tomorrow as Joe Kinnear's assistant, renewing a partnership the two shared at Luton.
It was thought at first that Kinnear might suffer the fate of Dave Jones, sacked by Wolves last Monday, but the arrival of Harford may make Kinnear's position more secure, assuming that the two can banish the threat of relegation.
Wolves' chief executive, Jez Moxey, suffered hostile barracking, although high passions at Jones's dismissal were temporarily forgotten as Wolves reached half-time in front. An 18th-minute penalty, converted by Colin Cooper after Mathieu Louis-Jean, already booked, had risked seeing red by pulling Carl Cort by the shirt, was cancelled out when David Johnson hooked a Wes Morgan header over the line to put Forest level six minutes later.
And after Marlon King had wasted a chance to put Forest in front, the on-loan Manchester City defender Mikkel Bischoff, restored the home side's advantage two minutes before half-time, glancing home a header from Colin Cameron's corner.
Form away from home was ultimately Jones's undoing. In front of their own crowd, Wolves' record stands up. Once in front yesterday, their confidence grew, and a third goal would not have been unmerited.
It might have come after 55 minutes when Cort was first to a cross from Cooper only to thump his header against the bar. Forest, whose disciplinary history includes three red cards in five matches before yesterday, found it easier to collect bookings than mount meaningful attacks. Paul Evans and John Thompson were shown yellow cards, both for late tackles, as the home side stepped up their search for a third goal.
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