Sport Soccer

Monday 20 November 2017

McCarthy hails Johnson effort

Mark Staniforth

Mick McCarthy hailed new captain Roger Johnson after his side got off to a fantastic start to the new season. Stephen Ward's winner gave Wolves the points, lashing home a left-foot shot in the 48th minute when Paul Robinson saved Kevin Doyle's penalty after Stephen Fletcher had swiftly equalised a debut goal by Mauro Formica in the first half.

But McCarthy singled out commanding debutant Johnson for praise, saying: "Roger has certainly added a great deal to the back four. I'm delighted with all of them [the new arrivals]. It was a great start."

Having watched his side secure survival on the last day of last season, McCarthy admitted it was a major boost to get the new campaign up and running with a win. "You can't ask for much more than that," he said. "It's normal that if you go behind in the Premier League you don't come back -- especially away from home.

"The first bit of quality we produced was for our equaliser and the game was end-to-end in the first half. But in the second half I thought we controlled it for the most part. It can be nervy for the home side on their home debut but it's up to the opposition to take advantage of that and I think we did that."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean admitted his club need to bring new faces in fast if they are to avoid a repeat of last season's relegation near-miss.

"We're in a position where 11 players have left and only three have come in," said Kean. "We have to bring players in in order to bolster the squad and make it a competitive squad."

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