Back to basics for McCarthy

The Midlands club remain in the Premier League relegation zone
after being defeated 3-2 at Molineux by Bolton on Saturday. The
hosts carved out several good opportunities in the opening period
but shot themselves in the foot – as they had in their previous
game – by conceding a goal in the first minute, Richard Stearman
heading past his own goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann. Second-half
strikes from Johan Elmander and Stuart Holden then gave Bolton a
3-0 lead, and although Kevin Foley and Steven Fletcher swiftly
reduced the deficit, McCarthy’s men were unable to find an
equaliser before the final whistle. Wolves have earned plaudits for
their performances in recent weeks but are yet to keep a single
clean sheet this term, something the manager knows must be
addressed. “I think we have to make sure we keep a clean sheet,
however that may be,” said McCarthy, whose side have only two
victories and nine points from 13 league games so far. “Let’s stay
in the game to start with. We have played some great football and
created loads of chances but we have conceded three goals. “We
might have to just start at basics and make sure we keep a clean
sheet.” Wolves went into the contest off the back of a high-profile
sequence of fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester
United and Arsenal, but McCarthy insisted the prospect of Bolton –
who moved up to fifth in the table – had not been underestimated.
“I thought this was a harder game – and I said that to the players
in the week – because of the danger that people expect us to win
it,” McCarthy said. “They are a very good team, on-form at the
minute, so it was always going to be a hard game – and it was made
increasingly hard by conceding a goal after 50 seconds.” McCarthy’s
opposite number Owen Coyle expressed his confidence that Wolves
will start picking up points. “Wolves are a far better side than
their league position suggests and that will turn for them, there
is no doubt,” Coyle said. “They just have to keep banging away on
that door, but I have to look after Bolton Wanderers, and it was an
important win for us.”