Sunday 17 December 2017

McCarthy praises Wolves effort as Hull maintain hold on star Hunt

Hull City 2 Wolves 2

Andy Hampson

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy felt his side fully deserved their point -- and perhaps more -- after twice coming from behind to draw at fellow strugglers Hull yesterday.

Wolves scored for the first time in five games as they drew 2-2 against their Premier League relegation rivals at KC Stadium.

A comical own goal from Anthony Gardner gifted them their first equaliser after a Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink strike and Matt Jarvis cancelled out a penalty from Wolves target Stephen Hunt.

"I think we should have had three -- but we have got one more than we had. I think being behind twice renders it a good point but I think the way we played and the chances we had, we did enough to win it," McCarthy said when asked if his team had earned a good point.

"I thought the first goal was against the run of play. Our first goal was an own goal but we set off well in the second half and forced them into a mistake. And I think we deserved our second one, for sure. I thought we were the better team in the second half."

Hunt's goal came from the penalty spot after Ronald Zubar bundled over Jozy Altidore and McCarthy had no complaints with the award.

"I thought it the worst decision I have seen in a long time -- by Ronald Zubar. The penalty was a penalty, no question in my mind," he said. McCarthy was pleased with the number of chances created by his side after again deploying Kevin Doyle as a lone striker.

Due to the recent lack of goals, the visiting fans voiced their displeasure with the formation in the first half but McCarthy felt vindicated in his selection.

"There will be someone that will say we should have gone to win it but we were having chance after chance playing with one up front and three in the middle. I may have weakened my case and we could have got beaten and that was something I certainly wasn't going to do," he said.

By twice surrendering a lead, Hull missed an opportunity to leapfrog Wolves and move out of the bottom three.

Manager Phil Brown felt defensive lapses had cost his side three points ahead of games against Chelsea and Manchester City next week.

"The two goals we conceded defensively were poor and individuals have held their hands up," said Brown.

"They were sloppy goals having gone in front twice and I am disappointed we have not won the game. Mick is probably disappointed he hasn't won the game so it is probably a fair result in the end."

Brown backed Gardner to bounce back after defender sliced the ball over Boaz Myhill's head early in the second half. "Tony will get over that, no problem. He has been one of the stalwarts of the season and he has been very reliable," he said.

The performance of lively winger Hunt, who has been the subject of three failed bids from Wolves this month, provided an interesting sub-plot.

Brown was delighted with the Waterford man and is determined to hold onto him even if Wolves make one final effort to lure him to Molineux before tomorrow's transfer deadline. "I thought Stephen had a good game. If the tactic by Wolves was to unsettle him, I'd suggest that is the wrong tactic," he said. "He is a fiery kind of character, he is like a whirlwind. But Stephen Hunt is here to stay as far as I am concerned."

McCarthy, whose latest bid of £4m for Hunt was turned down last week, refused to be drawn on the matter.

Sunday Independent

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