If Brian Laws was wanting some comfort after Burnley supporters turned on him during defeat to relegation rivals Wolves, then he did not have far to look. Next door, in the opposition dressing room at Turf Moor, was Mick McCarthy, who three months earlier found himself on the receiving end of Wolves fans' fury after daring to field an understrength side against Manchester United. Those same travelling fans applauded McCarthy and his players off the pitch at Turf Moor after a crucial victory.
But while the result has given the Black Country club renewed optimism in their fight to avoid relegation, Laws is facing mounting problems after his 10th Premier League game in charge of Burnley ended in an eighth defeat.
Three points adrift of safety with eight games remaining, Laws is running out of time to save the Lancashire club. The manager felt the full force of Turf Moor's frustration after his decision to replace Chris Eagles with Steven Thompson, when Wolves were leading 2-0, was met with jeers. Thompson justified his manager's move, reducing the deficit, but Wolves hung on, leading to more dissent. "You can hear the frustration from the fans," Thompson said. "It's difficult as a player because you're frustrated as well – if not more. It certainly doesn't help when you're on the pitch."
Of Burnley's remaining eight games, three are against Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, who are all locked into the race to finish fourth. As Burnley have won just once in 19 top-flight games, their fate could be sealed well before the final game of the season at home to Spurs on 9 May.
Wolves took command after weathering an early storm thanks to a terrible error by Tyrone Mears, the full-back's weak header to his keeper Brian Jensen falling short, which allowed Matthew Jarvis to pounce. And Jensen fished the ball out of his net for the 63rd time this season when Adlène Guedioura's effort from outside the area cannoned off Clarke Carlisle.
"We have not given ourselves a points target but if we can win another two or three we will be nearly there," Jarvis said. "This has given us more belief that we can do that."
Burnley (4-4-2): Jensen; Mears, Carlisle, Cort, Fox (Jordan, 40); Elliott, Alexander, Bikey (Blake, 55), Eagles (Thompson, 55); Paterson, Nugent. Substitutes not used: Weaver (gk), Duff, Edgar, Rodriguez.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-5-1): Hahnemann; Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Ward; Foley, Guedioura (Mancienne, 59), Henry, Jones (Keogh, 70), Jarvis (Ebanks-Blake, 78,); Doyle. Substitutes not used: Hennessey (gk), Elokobi, Vokes, Milijas.
Referee: S Bennett (Kent).
Booked: Burnley Jensen; Wolverhampton Berra, Guedioura, Keogh, Mancienne.
Man of the match: Jarvis.
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