Burnley 0 Wolverhampton 1: Johnson's perfect start as McCarthy enjoys awayday success

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The Independent Online

The Wolverhampton Wanderers manager, Mick McCarthy, said that his long pursuit of Jemal Johnson was worth the wait after the 22-year-old American made a perfect start on his debut, scoring the goal that gave McCarthy his first away win as manager of Wolves.

Johnson, who joined from Blackburn Rovers during the week, gave the visitors a 19th-minute lead, picking up Gary Breen's long clearance which had gone over the heads of Wayne Thomas and Frank Sinclair. Johnson raced clear of the defence to clip the ball past goalkeeper Brian Jensen.

McCarthy, who had tracked Johnson when he was manager of Sunderland, said: "We had dominated but the goal came out of a boot up the middle. Johnson took a bit of abuse being the local lad from just up the road but his all-round performance was excellent. He caused them problems and he was a threat.

"I looked at him when I was at Sunderland and if I was still there I would have taken him there. But it's Wolves' gain and we've got a good player there. They had a couple of half chances but in the main I thought we handled it well."

In the second half, as the visitors withstood heavy pressure, the young midfielder Daniel Jones showed his potential when he hit the post for Wanderers with a curling left-footed free-kick that beat the goalkeeper but came back off the woodwork.

Jones was given his starting place after Lee Naylor was left out the side. "There's a bid in [from Celtic] for Lee Naylor and we might have life without him so I wanted to take a look at Jones," McCarthy said, "and we've got Jamie Clapham who has probably played 200 games in the Premiership at left-back.

"I think the world of Lee, he's been terrific and a great servant for the club but who wouldn't be tempted by Celtic's interest? I understand it. He's had 10 years at the club but I think it's affected him. If he goes he goes, if he stays he stays with us and it's not cut and dried."

Despite being without the striker Andy Gray through suspension, the hosts never gave up and had numerous second-half chances, with Alan Mahon going close. The Burnley manager, Steve Cotterill, whose side lost for the first time this season, refused to use Gray's absence as an excuse. "We weren't as good as we have been in the other games and we probably deserved our defeat. We didn't do enough.

"It was nothing to do with Andy Gray, it was 11 v 11. We would have liked to have had him but he was replaced by Kyle Lafferty, who was arguably man of the match.

"The goal from our point of view was poor and we wouldn't expect that to happen. It was frustrating for us."

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