Junior Hoilett hailed the tactical expertise of Neil Warnock after Cardiff handed their manager the perfect 70th birthday present by beating Wolves.
Hoilett struck Cardiff’s winner in the 2-1 victory and one of the goals of the season – a fierce angled 20-yard drive off the underside of the crossbar – after being asked by Warnock to play wing-back for the first time in his more than 300-game career.
‘The manager told me in the week I’d be playing wing-back and it made me think a while,’ Hoilett said after claiming his first Premier League goal since scoring for QPR against Southampton in November 2012.
Junior Hoilett has heaped praise on boss Neil Warnock for masterminding win over Wolves
‘I’d not played there before, but I surprised myself. It worked out and it shows the gaffer is a great tactician. Everybody plays for the manager here and gives 100 per cent. You see how hard we work for each other.’
Aron Gunnarsson had earlier cancelled out Wolves’ first-half opener and Hoilett’s 77th-minute stunner gave Cardiff back-to-back home wins for the first time for 57 years.
The Friday night victory also moved Cardiff out of the relegation zone ahead of the rest of the weekend’s matches and allowed Warnock to celebrate his milestone birthday in style.
‘I’m sure he’ll remember this birthday,’ Hoilett said. ‘It shows how we fight to the final whistle and give 100 per cent no matter what. It’s a great club and against all odds we grind out results.
Warnock played Hoilett as a wing-back and he came up trumps by scoring the winner on Friday
Hoilett hit a superb curler to seal the comeback win and lift Cardiff out of the bottom three
‘We’re more relaxed now going into the West Ham game (on Tuesday), and it will ease the pressure on us if we pick up results in the next few weeks.
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‘If we stay positive like we did in the second half, we’ll be all right.’
Wolves, promoted alongside Cardiff last season, made a seemingly smooth transition to the Premier League in losing only once in their opening eight games.
But a dramatic slump in form has seen Wolves fail to win since early October and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have picked up just one point from a possible 18.
Wolves also have a testing run of fixtures ahead of them, with Chelsea next up at Molineux on Wednesday and Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City to come before the middle of January.
‘We need to get off this run as soon as possible,’ said Matt Doherty after he had marked his 200th league appearance for Wolves with his second goal of the season.
‘It’s frustrating to lose five in six for the quality of players we have and the way we play.
‘But our confidence hasn’t gone. I think you would be able to tell in our play if we were not looking for the ball, showing for angles or were hesitant.
‘We’re not used to losing consecutive games, but you can see in our play we’re not panicking.’
Matt Doherty, who opened the scoring, said: ‘We need to get off this run as soon as possible’