Blackburn Rovers’ penalty was dodgy, reckons new Wolves boss

Frustrated Wolves boss Dean Saunders insisted Blackburn should never have won their “dodgy” penalty after slamming the officials for the controversial opener at Molineux last night.

Blackburn Rovers' Jordan Rhodes scores the opening goal against Wolverhampton Wanders from the penalty spot
Blackburn Rovers' Jordan Rhodes scores the opening goal from the penalty spot

Jordan Rhodes’ 26th-minute spot-kick – his 16th club goal of the season – came after Ruben Rochina fell against Bakary Sako’s leg for a soft award.

Rovers led until Roger Johnson’s headed equaliser in the 74th minute saw Saunders’ first game in charge of Wolves end 1-1.

Saunders fumed: “The lad kicked Sako’s legs so I didn’t think it was a penalty. It was a dodgy one.

“It was a young linesman on the far side and he’d probably told his family that he was running the line on Sky Sports. That’s a boring job, because sometimes you’re running up and down not having anything to do, freezing cold, so he might have thought: ‘If I give a couple of offsides, the camera will go on my face so at least the family will know I was there,’ and he couldn’t wait to give the penalty.

“If you look at it again, the lad kicked Sako’s legs – but it was an irresponsible challenge from Sako to put his leg in.

“It can happen when wingers track back, though. It was a bit reckless.”

As for Wolves’ much more positive performance, Saunders was delighted with his side’s application.

“I really enjoyed it. The players gave me the effort and the determination – I’ve had a good reaction from them and I thought we deserved to win,” he said.

“I think we had enough chances – their keeper made a couple of great saves in the first half and Carl Ikeme did too.

“Jordan Rhodes got through and put it around Carl but, apart from that, we were in charge. We looked like we were going to win at the end.”

Saunders was also happy to take the acclaim for his substitution which proved inspired as Jamie O’Hara’s long ball was headed home by Johnson for the equaliser.

“I told Jamie to do that!” he joked. “When he came over I just said ‘stand there, and bang it on Roger Johnson’s head and tell him to head it in the net’!

“He’s got a Premier League brain and what a ball it was.”