Wolverhampton W 1 Watford 1: Hoddle threatened by Moxey's fury

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The Independent Online

A withering boardroom attack has made Glenn Hoddle ever more likely to join the long list of failed former Wolverhampton Wanderers managers.

He endured further chants for his dismissal in the unsatisfactory draw that extinguished Wolves' last hope of reaching the play-offs and left Watford analysing the straight red card brandished at their goalscorer, Marlon King.

The visitors can no longer be automatically promoted but goings-on before kick-off drew much of the sting from events on the pitch.

Sheffield United's afternoon victory forced Watford to concede the race for runners-up spot while the programme notes from the Wolves chief executive, Jez Moxey, made Hoddle's job tenure extremely shaky.

With a seventh-place finish beckoning, he called Wolves' season a " complete disaster" and said of the forlorn chase of the top six: " This was our publicly stated minimum target and everyone accepts it should have been achieved."

The manager insisted he expects to be at Molineux in August and denied feeling undermined. But he countered: "A disaster is if you're relegated. It's an opinion... Fine if he wants to put that in the programme. I don't agree with it."

Hoddle and Moxey sat in close proximity in the directors' box in a first-half in which Wolves carved Watford open with alarming ease. Colin Cameron failed to turn in Maurice Ross's excellent cross before Tomasz Frankowski slid a fine ball through for Jérémie Aliadière to drive in the second goal of his loan spell from Arsenal.

That 18th-minute goal was followed by the £1.4m Frankowski squandering the perfect opportunity to break his 14-game scoring duck. Poor Watford marking put him free on to Rohan Ricketts' ball inside his own half. He was yards clear but Foster saved superbly.

Ricketts was on because Paul Ince had limped off with the hamstring injury that will probably end his season ­ and maybe his playing career.

It was proving no kind of play-off dress rehearsal for Watford but, with Hoddle at pitch-side in the second half, the tide turned.

King lashed high and wide when fed by Matthew Spring, but was less wasteful in the 65th minute when hammering in right-footed after Lloyd Doyley's long throw was helped on to him.

King was later sent off for protesting to the referee's assistants when denied a penalty for a challenge from behind by Joleon Leschott.

"The ban will be three or two games and we'll have to look again before deciding whether to appeal," said the Watford manager, Adrian Boothroyd. "But the break will give him an opportunity to fire for the play-offs."

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Postma; Lowe, Edwards, Lescott, Naylor; Ross (Seol, 71), Cameron, Ince (Ricketts, 36), Kennedy; Frankowski (Cort, 71), Aliadière. Substitutes not used: Oakes (gk), Little.

Watford (4-4-2): Foster; DeMerit, Carlisle, Mackay, Doyley; Young, Spring (Bangura, 86), Mahon, Eagles (Chambers, 90); Henderson (McNamee, 61), King. Substitutes not used: Stewart, Blizzard.

Referee: K Wright (Cambridgeshire).

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