| 13.5°C Dublin

Ward capture one of my best bits of business -- Mick

MICK McCarthy reckons that his bargain-bin purchase of Stephen Ward from Bohemians was one of the best pieces of business he's done on the transfer market.

Ward, currently recovering after an operation earlier in the summer, has made over 100 league appearances for Wolves since his move from Bohs in 2007, clearly value for money for Wanderers as they paid a reported €200,000 for the player.

"Two hundred grand? I don't even think it was that much," said McCarthy, who has shelled out almost £9m to sign Irish internationals Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt.

"It's as good a piece of business as we've done, without a doubt.

"I think that League of Ireland background helps.

"The standards are set very high, in terms of how you're brought up, your family. You don't have everything given to you and you have to work at it.

"Wardy came as a centre- forward, wide left player and he's ended up left-back and he's done terrific for us. He has a wonderful attitude, and I like players like that. Players who don't have attitude don't stay around for too long.

"It will be tough for him to keep his place but Wardy will make it tough for Jelle Van Damme and George Elokobi, no one is guaranteed their place in the team," added McCarthy, who says he won't rush new signing Hunt back to fitness as he recovers from surgery on a foot injury.


Hunt has stated his desire to be back in action as soon as possible, even for Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifiers in September, but McCarthy has urged caution.

"He'll be back when he's fit," the Wolves boss said.

"I said to him that we're looking at end of September, he says beginning of September. I prefer my version than his.

"We have two international breaks between the start of the season and the time he's due back, so that gives us an opportunity to get him back.

"He wants to play, he has missed a lot of football and he doesn't like being injured."