McCarthy wants cool heads

Wolves take on Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday evening
and then tackle Birmingham at St Andrew’s on Sunday. But McCarthy
is refusing to look upon the games as “make or break” to
second-from-bottom Wolves’ quest to secure a third successive
season of top-flight football. “It’s all about having one more
goal, one more point, being better than three other teams, come May
22, and we stay up,” he said. “Sorry for being dogmatic about that
but that’s the way it is. “What happens if we don’t win this week,
what happens if we win the last two games and that’s enough? “I
don’t know what is going to be enough points and I know nobody else
knows what will be enough. “It would be seriously helpful to get
points out of the next two games but I am not going to make it make
or break. “It might be the last game we need something and we might
get it. The message is keep calm and keep playing. “We have to
affect our position, nobody else’s. If by taking points off
someone, we affect them, then fine. “But it is our position we want
to affect and the only way we can do that is by collecting points
by virtue of a draw or a win and that’s what we need to do.”
McCarthy admits his players looked nervy during Saturday’s draw
with Fulham despite his own attempts to maintain a calm front. He
said: “I think for one it is about keeping a calm disposition
yourself. It helps. I’m not saying I always do that when I’m on the
side of the pitch. “Generally on a day-to-day basis I do. Be calm,
focused, clear on what you want, how you want to do it. “I can’t
affect players. They go home, read the papers, see the TV and read
all the stories. “They know where we are and how staying in the
league and not staying in the league affects them. “I’ve said be
focused on what staying in the league brings as opposed to any
negativity of thinking what may happen if we were to be relegated.
“I say ‘just stay on the positive side’ and I still think we’ll
stay up, I’m certain we will.” McCarthy has plenty of respect for
Stoke boss Tony Pulis and believes his side are undeservedly
maligned for their approach to games. He said: “I expect a real
competitive game. They are a far better team than they get
discredited for. “If you saw them in the FA Cup semi-final, what a
good performance that was and good goals they scored. “But they do
make it hard to play against. I’ve no problem with that at all. I
try my best to make my team hard to play against as well. “They get
much maligned, not from me ever because there is more than one way
to win a game of football and what Tony does is get the best out of
people. “He has resurrected the careers of one or two there he has
got the best out of. “He makes his teams well organised and
difficult to play against and highly motivated.”