Blackburn Rovers hit rock bottom of the Premier League last night and the pressure was turned up on manager Steve Kean following a calamitous 2-1 loss to Bolton at Ewood Park.
Already under intense scrutiny, with the local paper calling for his head on Monday, the Scot was roundly abused by the home fans from the moment Mark Davies struck his fourth-minute opener.
Nigel Reo-Coker added another before the break and, although Yakubu pulled one back in the middle of a much-improved second-half display, Bolton leapfrogged their relegation rivals, who will spend Christmas Day rooted to the bottom of the table.
Only one side has avoided being relegated in May from that position and it is hard to see Kean inspiring Blackburn the way Bryan Robson famously did at West Brom.
Bolton manager Owen Coyle hailed his side’s performance.
Coyle said: “We’re in a position that’s self-inflicted. With the magnitude of the game and the position of both teams it was one we wanted and I thought we we should have put the team to bed. I’m delighted to come out on the right side of the result.
“There’s pivotal moments and pivotal games this year. We had to draw a line in the sand and deliver today. When we get back to the Reebok that’s the atmosphere we’ll need for the game against Newcastle.
“You see the fan base we’ve got that came here and supported the team, they’re going into Christmas with a smile on their face. It’s great to do that and it puts us in with a few teams with two home games to come.
“When it gets difficult you have to take it on the chin and see your way through that.”
Wolves twice came from behind to rescue a precious point in a 2-2 draw in their battle for Premier League survival against Norwich at Molineux.
Former Wolves midfielder Andrew Surman broke the deadlock only for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who replaced the axed Kevin Doyle, to level before half-time.
Canaries substitute Simeon Jackson restored his side’s lead with his first touch but Ronald Zubar’s first goal of the campaign rescued Wolves from a second home defeat in four days.