Crystal Palace 1 Wolverhampton W 1: Hoddle forced to draw lesson from Johnson's finish

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The Independent Football

Unfortunately for Hoddle, the man in question was Crystal Palace's Andrew Johnson and not one of his own misfiring squad. Wolves had played plenty of enterprising football, but this was their fourth draw in succession and their 11th of the campaign. Like Palace they still show plenty of potential, yet both clubs are 20 points off an automatic promotion place.

"We don't go to away games looking for draws," Hoddle said. "We go with three strikers and we attack. Opponents keep telling us we're the best team they've played, but we've got to start putting the points on the board that prove that."

Seol Ki-Hyeon, who scored a soft goal after his centre eluded everyone and crept in at the far post, and Kenny Miller provided a constant threat from the flanks, but all too often Wolves' attacks lacked a cutting edge. Miller missed the target from close range after Darren Anderton's superb chip had struck the woodwork.

"When you miss chances from two yards it's difficult to take," Hoddle said. "We're getting draws because we're not putting opponents to the sword."

With the injured Carl Cort out for four more weeks, Hoddle is desperate to sign another forward. He said that Wolves had made two bids for "a lower division striker" - Izale McLeod, of MK Dons, is said to be a target - but had been quoted an unrealistic fee.

Palace are likely to make their own moves in the transfer window, with a left-back a high priority, but Iain Dowie's greatest fear must be Premiership interest in Johnson. The England striker is finding his feet again after nearly three months out with a knee injury and equalised with a smart shot from 15 yards after an incisive pass from Tom Soares. Johnson's pace regularly threatened a Wolves defence in which Jolean Lescott was outstanding.

With six strikers on the pitch there was much to admire in both teams' attacking play and plenty of reasons for optimism, though Hoddle fears that Reading and Sheffield United may be uncatchable. "It's in the top two's hands," he said. "Even if we had a great run, we would need them to wobble."

Goals: Seol (19) 0-1; Johnson (44) 1-1.

Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Speroni; Leigertwood, Ward, Popovic, Boyce; Hughes, Watson, Soares; Morrison (McAnuff, 82), Johnson, Freedman (Macken, 66). Substitutes not used: Kiraly (gk), Hudson, Andrews.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-3-3): Postma; Edwards, Gyepes, Lescott, Naylor; Anderton, Huddlestone, Kennedy; Seol, Ganea (Clarke, 75), Miller. Substitutes not used: Oakes (gk), Ross, Ricketts, Olofinjana.

Referee: M Thorpe (Suffolk).

Booked: Crystal Palace Macken, Popovic. Wolves Kennedy, Gyepes.

Man of the match: Lescott.

Attendance: 19,385.

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