McCarthy joy as Wolves maintain survival surge
SUNDERLAND 1 WOLVES 3
Published 15/05/2011 | 05:00
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was taking nothing for granted after seeing his side ease towards Premier League safety.
McCarthy's men won on Wearside -- something his Black Cats team did not manage in 19 attempts in the top flight during his spell in charge -- to ease themselves into 16th place, a point clear of the drop zone going into next weekend's final-day clash with Blackburn at Molineux.
However, he knows their fate remains in their own hands as the season reaches a dramatic conclusion. "It's the same three points as last week," said McCarthy. "I said it would go to May 22 and it's going there, isn't it? Nobody can do anything about it. Just win our game. If we win our game, then nobody can do anything about it, and the same applies on Sunday against Blackburn."
Wolves' second successive 3-1 league victory came courtesy of an impressive second-half display as injury-hit Sunderland imploded. The visitors had taken the lead against the run of play when former Black Cat Jody Craddock volleyed home Stephen Hunt's 23rd-minute cross, but Stephane Sessegnon levelled from close range 11 minutes before the break.
Steven Fletcher's 54th-minute header, his sixth goal in eight games, restored Wolves' lead and they never looked back, with defender George Elokobi killing off any hope of a fightback with a 78th-minute strike.
McCarthy was delighted with the result, but admitted he had not enjoyed the game.
"Not one little bit, no. I enjoyed the result. I enjoyed our second-half performance because we played well, but we had been battered for 45 minutes. We got slapped and we had to certainly improve and up our game, which we did, and I think second half, we deserved to win, to be honest with you. I don't think anyone could argue with that point."
Opposite number Steve Bruce was left to reflect on a seventh home league defeat of a campaign which is ending with a whimper after starting so brightly.
"Everybody realises the problems," said Bruce. "However, there is still no hiding place. We have conceded three against Fulham, three against West Brom and three against Wolves today at home -- that to me is the disappointment. We haven't defended properly, we haven't shown the right resilience, and of course I am playing people out of position back there. It's been a big frustration."
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