Connor loses his voice but discovers belief

Newcastle United 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

St James' Park

Perspective is a strange and ever-moving beast in football. By five to five on Saturday evening, the bonhomie belonged to those in old gold. In the directors' box, Steve Morgan was not quite high-fiving his entourage, but the Wolverhampton Wanderers owner was engulfed with handshakes and hugs. Terry Connor, the former No 2 given the reins until the end of the season, talked, with his faltering vocal chords, of a new beginning and Kevin Doyle, whose goal had rescued a point, was rallying a football club.

"We've been written off as if we're 10 points adrift," he said. "We're out of the bottom three after this result and we believe in ourselves, but we need to reproduce that kind of form between now and the end of the season," Doyle said. "The last week has been tough for everybody. Everyone got on very well with Mick [McCarthy]. Once they got yesterday out of the way and appointed the new manager, we wanted that to happen and we got it.

"Terry has been the manager for the last two weeks anyway, as he's been taking training and dictating to us what we've been doing. It's been a transition, but at least it's been a smooth one. We're delighted he's got the job. Can we survive? Yes, definitely. Before the game we were only in the bottom three on goal difference and we were in a worse state than this last year at the same stage.

"People are very quick to write you off, but they're also quick to big you up – we just need to remember that we've given ourselves a chance."

It was also worth recalling that after an horrendously messy period in Wolves' recent history, ever since Morgan clumsily walked into the home dressing room after a defeat against Liverpool, which culminated in a shoddy attempt to find a new manager after McCarthy's sacking, this has, or indeed had, been a club written off. Wolves were going down all week, and what looked a stop-gap appointment further justified the reasoning.

Strange then how quickly that turned. Connor had just about lost his voice by the time his team had recovered from losing two goals to Papiss Cissé and Jonas Gutierrez inside the first 18 minutes to launch a brave second-half fightback. Matt Jarvis's deflected shot in the 50th minute gave them belief and then came Doyle's equaliser.

"I think I enjoyed it," said Connor. "It was tough, especially early on, but I have been there before under Mick so I understand the emotions and what the manager goes through. No, I was well-versed in it to be honest. It didn't feel particularly different because I wanted to win as No 2. The only difference was making the subs because that was on my head.

"People are saying we are favourites to go down, but we know we have done it for two years and I have asked the lads to refocus and to treat it like the first 12 games of a new season."

Both men paid credit to McCarthy, who had called Connor before the game to wish him good luck. Yet he did not need fortune. Wolves were good value, which leads onto Newcastle, who are at the crossroads in their season. They sit sixth, their campaign could end in glory with an unexpected European qualification, but defensively they need to regroup. Finding a role for Hatem Ben Arfa in the closing stages of the season may be one of the biggest tests Alan Pardew has faced. They also have a Tyne-Wear derby on the horizon, an unforgiving fixture for the team that loses.

"Sometimes we know he [Ben Arfa] can do things other players can't do," said his manager. "He's just got to learn when to do it in the right areas.

"I think there was a bit of after- effects from the Spurs game [which Newcastle lost 5-0]. Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye will be better for this. We need them.

"They are top players, we know that. You've got to understand that this is the Premier League, it's a different level than the African Cup of Nations for Cheick, and for Cabaye he's been out for three weeks."

Match details

Newcastle: KRUL 6/10; SIMPSON 5; WILLIAMSON 5; COLOCCINI 7; SANTON 7; R TAYLOR 6; CABAYE 6; TIOTE6; GUTIERREZ 7; CISSE 7; BA 6

Wolves: HENNESSEY 7; WARD 6; BERRA 6; STEARMAN 6; ZUBAR 7; JARVIS 6; HENRY 6; EDWARDS 6; FOLEY 6; O'HARA 7; DOYLE 8

Scorers: Newcastle United Cissé 6, Gutierrez 18. Wolverhampton Wanderers Jarvis 50, Doyle 66.

Substitutes: Newcastle Guthrie 6 (R Taylor, 66), Ben Arfa 6 (Cissé, 66), Shola Ameobi (Tioté, 81). Wolves Kightly (O'Hara, 71), Hunt (Jarvis, 86), Milijas (Foley, 90)

Booked: Newcastle Shola Ameobi. Wolves Berra.

Man of the match Doyle. Match rating 6/10.

Possession: Newcastle 51% Wolves 49%.

Attempts on target: Newcastle 8 Wolves 6.

Referee P Walton (Northamptonshire) Attendance 52,287.

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Goalkeeping howler allows Man City to scrap a draw – but Premier League title is Liverpool's to lose
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
scienceTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
News
Ethical matters: pupils during a philosophy lesson
educationTaunton School's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal