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McCarthy tells Wolves to bare their teeth

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy expects to see more fight from his players as he bids to make it a case of many happy returns in Sunday's clash with local rivals Birmingham at St Andrew's.

McCarthy's men crashed out of the FA Cup at Crystal Palace on Tuesday with their worst performance of the season and the Wolves boss, who is 51 tomorrow, knows what will happen if there is a repeat against the Blues, with the focus now back on Premier League survival.

McCarthy loves the cut and thrust of a local derby and success on his birthday would make it all the sweeter.

"Of course a win and three points would be the perfect birthday present," said McCarthy.

"As a player I played in plenty of derby games, Celtic-Rangers, Barnsley-Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City-Manchester United and Lyon-St Etienne, and I used to love them.

"I played for the Republic of Ireland against Northern Ireland and that was a pretty tasty one as well. So I have been involved in quite a few.

"They are big games and, first and foremost, you've got to compete because if you don't you get beat.

"We didn't compete particularly well the other night and we got beat.

"If you don't compete in derbies, you'll get punished. But there is a need to keep calm in them as well."

Birmingham, who were promoted alongside Wolves last season, head into the game almost assured of their Premier League status for another season but McCarthy added: "I don't think it will take any edge off the game at all. If Alex McLeish heard me say that, he'd say I was barmy. But they have got 34 points and they are 13 clear of the drop, so analyse that."

Wolves' midfielder Kevin Foley knows his team faces a massive test and he said: "They have done very well. "They have been solid all season, they have kept most of their players fit and seem to have the same starting line-up every week."