Give Hoddle a new deal, pleads Cort

Preston North End 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
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The Independent Online

Just about the only thing Wolverhampton Wanderers are unable to draw at the moment is comfort from their inability to kill off opponents.

Just about the only thing Wolverhampton Wanderers are unable to draw at the moment is comfort from their inability to kill off opponents.

How Glenn Hoddle, their temporary manager whose continued employment rests largely on an ability to secure at least a play-off place in May, must long for a return to the 1980s.

Not, as many of those who have played under the former England manager would testify, through a desire to relive his glory days as one of Europe's foremost midfielders. But more to hark back to a time when two points were awarded for a win.

While 11 draws from 15 games prove Hoddle has made Wolves hard to beat, they would have been better off with a win-one-lose-one sequence in their attempts to clinch an immediate return to the Premiership.

The Molineux side have suffered only one more defeat than Sunderland who occupy second, yet 17 draws this season means they are 10 points adrift of the play-off places.

Hoddle's temporary tenure will be reviewed at the end of the season, and is under serious threat unless he can oversee a near miraculous dénouement in the remaining nine fixtures.

Carl Cort, the Wolves forward, admits the uncertainty over the manager's future is not helping: "We'd all like the gaffer to sign a longer deal. He's here until the end of the season and we don't really know what's going to happen, which is a shame because you can't really build."

Wolves, for whom defender Jody Craddock scored his first goal of the season from close range after 10 minutes, were indebted to a late equaliser from their South Korean international midfielder Ki-Hyeon Seol.

Preston scored at the start of each half, Richard Cresswell heading his 13th League goal before Graham Alexander converted his fifth penalty, his third in four home games, after Joleon Lescott had tripped Eddie Lewis.

Hoddle is clearly relishing his return to management, and remains bullish about Wolves' top-six aspirations: "We've got a couple of home games coming up which we need six points from. If we can manage that we'll see where we are.

"Seeing other teams hanging on at the end against us is becoming a familiar story. I had to say a few words at half-time because we'd been poor, but I was always confident we'd get back into it."

Goals: Cresswell (3) 1-0; Craddock (10) 1-1; Alexander pen (52) 2-1; Seol (73) 2-2.

Preston North End (4-4-2): Day; Alexander, Mawene, Lucketti, Davidson; Sedgwick, O'Neil (Etuhu, 82), McKenna (Davis, 90), Lewis (Agyemang, 82); Cresswell, Nugent. Substitutes not used: Ward (gk), Mears.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Oakes; Edwards, Craddock, Lescott, Naylor (Cooper, 70); Seol, Ince, Olofinjana, Kennedy; Cort, Miller (Clarke, 89). Substitutes not used: Cameron, Jones (gk), Andrews.

Referee: A Marriner (West Midlands).

Booked: Wolverhampton Miller, Ince.

Man of the match: Ki-Hyeon Seol.

Attendance: 16,236.

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