Jones fears for his job at Wolves

Nottingham Forest 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
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The Independent Football

Beleaguered manager Dave Jones last night admitted he is concerned for his future as his desperate Wolves side found even a penalty and a man to spare not enough to avoid a third consecutive defeat.

Beleaguered manager Dave Jones last night admitted he is concerned for his future as his desperate Wolves side found even a penalty and a man to spare not enough to avoid a third consecutive defeat.

Jones, in charge at Molineux since January 2001, has been told in bleakly unambiguous terms by the chief executive, Jez Moxey, that his days are numbered unless improvement is fast in coming. Wolves, under pressure to win an immediate return to the Premiership after being relegated last term, have only 11 points from a possible 36 and it may be that their next two games, at home to Derby County and in-form Queens Park Rangers, will have to be won if Jones is not to be replaced.

"I know the chairman will feel under pressure and while I'm not frightened I am concerned," Jones said. "I just hope that people keep their nerve. If it happens, it happens, but all I can do is give my best."

Forest, who started two points worse off than their opponents from a game more, deserved their victory, and not only for successfully coping with 10 men for 35 minutes after goalscorer Andy Reid was sent off. While they still had a full complement, they were comfortably the dominant force.

Indeed, to suggest Forest might have been four goals to the good even before Reid's 42nd-minute strike would be no exaggeration. David Johnson had seen three opportunities come to nothing while only a fine save by the goalkeeper Michael Oakes kept out a rocket from Alan Rogers. When the breakthrough came it produced more evidence of the ability that makes Reid Forest's most valuable asset, the Republic of Ireland winger curling a wonderful high, left-foot shot inside Oakes's near post from 20 yards.

How different the evening might have gone for Jones, though, had Kenny Miller not fluffed a gilt-edged chance after only nine minutes. Or how much better had Shaun Newton put away the penalty Wolves were awarded in the 56th minute when Reid, having miscontrolled the ball, brought down Kevin Cooper. Instead, Paul Gerrard leapt to his right to make a fine save, extending Wolves' miserable record in spot kicks to eight misses from their last 11.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Gerrard; Louis-Jean, Hjelde, Morgan, Rogers; Impey, Evans, Jess (Dawson, 86), Reid; Johnson (Robertson 77), King. Substitutes not used: Commons, Roche (gk), Bopp.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Oakes; Lowe (Ki-Hyeon, 64), Bischoff, Lescott, Kennedy; Cooper, Andrews, Ince (Cameron, h-t), Newton; Miller, Cort. Substitutes not used: Naylor, Olofinjana, Jones (gk).

Referee: P Robinson (Hull).

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