Hoilett strikes to spur Blackburn win
Blackburn forward Junior Hoilett's time at Ewood Park could well be coming to end, but he helped the club to a 2-0 win over Sunderland tonight.
The 21-year-old, who seems increasingly unlikely to renew a contract which expires in the summer, scored the crucial opening goal against Sunderland as Rovers moved six points clear of the relegation zone.
Hoilett's contribution in recent weeks has been invaluable. He struck twice against Wolves in their previous outing and his well-taken volley just before the hour tonight was followed by a late header from Ayegbeni Yakubu to give Rovers an important victory with nine games remaining.
Hoilett looked the most inventive of Blackburn's players on the night and although manager Steve Kean still speaks optimistically about keeping him beyond the end of the season there are bigger clubs waiting in the wings to snap up his prize asset.
The man-of-the-match aside, Rovers laboured in the first half as Sunderland - with only two changes from the side which drew at Everton on Saturday - looked like they were feeling the after-effects of their FA Cup quarter-final exertions.
The home side had spent some of the ten days since the 2-0 win at Wolves on a team-building break in Yorkshire and they certainly looked fresher. But they failed to capitalise on that and some sluggish play let the Black Cats off the hook as the visitors finished the first half much more composed than they started it.
It was a similar tale after the break until Hoilett's quality broke the deadlock, although Sunderland substitute Ji Dong-won will be wondering how he missed an open goal from four yards late on just before Yakubu added the decisive second.