McCarthy keen to see Wolves established as a Premier League force
Mick McCarthy wants Wolves to follow the example of Fulham and Wigan in becoming an established Premier League force during the next few seasons.
But he's under no illusions about the task facing his side next season and warned: "No matter who we sign, it will be just as tough."
McCarthy has massive respect for the achievements of Roy Hodgson at Craven Cottage during the past two-and-a-half seasons. But he has noted that Fulham have been established in the top flight for a decade and Wigan for six years and that is the aim at Molineux.
He said: "I get asked about the ambitions for next season and the answer is 'we won't be in the top eight and I don't want to be in the bottom three'. We just want to stay in the league and end up being a solid Premier League side.
"Fulham have become that in the past decade. Wigan have been in there for six seasons now. They have become a solid team you'd expect to stay in the league.
"Yes, they have flirted with relegation this year, but they've become a team you expect to remain in the Premier League.
"Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have the lofty ambitions to streak into the top six. But wouldn't it be lovely for us to get into a position in six years time where we are saying 'one year we had a flirt with relegation and just escaped and the other years we finished 14th, 10th, 12th, whatever it might be'.
"Let's try and make sure we stay in the league. That is what we have to try and achieve."
McCarthy wants to bring in four or five new players this summer to supplement his current squad.
He said: "Staying up a couple of weeks early means we can start looking at players we might want to sign. That is a help and you can prepare and plan behind the scenes. The lads have been terrific this season but it has been a really difficult season at times and, no matter who we sign, it will be just as tough next season."
McCarthy believes the example of Charlton acts as a reminder of what can happen to a club if they try to over-stretch in terms of ambitions.
He said: "If ever there was an example of getting ahead of yourself it is Charlton. They were around about 10th place in the Premier League under Alan Curbishley every season.
"Suddenly it wasn't good enough for them. They suddenly wanted to play a bit more expansive open football and entertain the fans.
"Now they're in the equivalent of the third division by changing the philosophy of being safe, sound and secure. They were really solid at the time. They didn't need to change it."
Wolves skipper Karl Henry will be available for today's trip to Portsmouth after a three-game ban for his red card at Arsenal.