Milijas draws on World Cup promise to fire-up Wolves

Wolves 2 Bolton Wanderers 1

Nenad Milijas' name does not lend itself to Black Country songs of praise and he may never join Steve Bull and Billy Wright in having a stand named in his honour at Molineux. Yet he played a pivotal role in a victory for Wolves to underline the power of the World Cup to concentrate minds.

Barely 24 hours after his country, Serbia, were drawn to meet Germany, Australia and Ghana next summer, Milijas put behind him a staccato start to Premier League life. After creating a goal to give Wolves the impetus they craved in their bottom-three battle against Bolton, he positively bludgeoned the second.

During the Serbs' progress from their group ahead of France, the 26-year-old partnered Dejan Stankovic, who went from the same Belgrade suburb to Serie A. However, his international coach, Raddy Antic, must have been uneasy about his lack of first-team action since a £2.6m move from Red Star Belgrade.

Milijas is confident he would have gone to South Africa irrespective of club form. Asked whether he had to play every week to keep his place, he replied: "I don't have that problem. I need to train well and be fit and healthy. I just want to give 100 per cent of myself but if I'm not playing, I don't think it's so much of a problem."

Antic may not espouse such a laissez-faire approach and, like Wolves' manager, Mick McCarthy, his delight was doubtless tempered by relief. Milijas played down his contribution, which began when a wickedly whipped-in free-kick made a goal for Jody Craddock, who was in an offside position, and culminated with a swerving 30-yard shot that left Jussi Jaaskelainen clawing air.

"The win was the most important thing because there was big pressure on this team (after losing to Birmingham)," Milijas said.

Though Gary Megson is close to chairman Phil Gartside, the team's downward spiral must be prompting boardroom concern. They started playing only after Johan Elmander's close-range finish, their belated siege allowing the United States' No 3 goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann to remind World Cup rivals England that the Americans excel in at least one position.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Hahnemann; Stearman, Craddock, Berra, Ward; Edwards (Mancienne, 84), Henry, Milijas, Jarvis; Doyle, Ebanks-Blake (Maierhofer, 80). Substitutes not used: Hennessey (gk), Keogh, Surman, Foley, Castillo.

Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jasskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel (Elmander, 71); Yong-Lee, Gardner, McCann, Cohen, Taylor; Klasnic. Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Ricketts, M Davies, Knight, Elmander, Obadeyi, Muamba.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

Booked: Wolves Stearman, Hahnemann; Bolton McCann.

Man of the match: Milijas.

Attendance: 27,362.

Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal after signing for Manchester United
sport
News
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
tech
News
people
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
News
Ukrainian Leonid Stadnik, 37, 2.59 meter (8,5 feet) tall, the world's tallest living man, waves as he poses for the media by the Chevrolet Tacuma car presented to him by President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev on March 24, 2008.
newsPeasant farmer towered at almost 8'5'' - but shunned the limelight
News
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in ‘The Front Page’, using an old tech typewriter
media
Life and Style
Could a robot sheepdog find itself working at Skipton Auction Mart?
techModel would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis