McCarthy lauds ‘terrific’ Craddock

The 34-year-old Craddock and fellow centre-back Christophe Berra

had to deal with a long-throw bombardment – 24 in total – from

Stoke midfielder Rory Delap in Sunday’s Premier League clash at

Molineux. But the clean sheet and home goalless draw moved Wolves

six points clear of the bottom three with four games remaining.

Craddock played for three quarters of the game with his head

bandaged up after an aerial clash with Abdoulaye Faye but

demonstrated why he has been offered a new contract by McCarthy.

The Wolves boss said: “Jody is great. He has been terrific. That is

why I want him to stay. But I bet he hasn’t played as well as that

for 500 games. “If he had played like that for 500 games he would

have been at Manchester United or somewhere else. “But Jody and

Christophe were superb. We had to defend. Stoke make you defend.

They do that well (the long throw) and we’ve combated that well.”

McCarthy revealed he had spent only a few minutes on the training

ground working out how to stop the danger posed by Delap. He said:

“We had about four minutes on Saturday morning where we discussed

where I wanted players to go. Since when it has become a surprise

that centre-halves have to head the ball? “The long throw from

Delap is an effective weapon but, the more you make of it, you just

put more fear into your own team.” McCarthy is determined Wolves

will keep their destiny in their own hands rather than be dragged

into a last-minute battle to survive. He said: “I’d like to finish

top of that bottom pile of teams – where we are at present – above

Wigan, West Ham, Bolton, Burnley, Hull and Portsmouth. “Someone in

the bottom three has got to get seven points from their remaining

games to get above us anyway but we are not resting on our laurels.

“We want to continue to get results and end with a flurry, not

causing ourselves any problems by worrying about other results.

Let’s do it for ourselves. We won’t get complacent.” Tony Pulis

gained satisfaction from Stoke equalling their best run of

top-flight away results for 30 years and they are now unbeaten in

six games away from the Britannia Stadium. The Stoke manager said:

“I think it is only Chelsea who have got a better goals against

record than us on the road so it is really encouraging considering

the away form we had last year. “We knew we had to improve the away

form because we knew we couldn’t replicate our home form in the

second year. “It has been very important and it is something the

lads have picked up on and worked very hard at. “I just think it is

down to a little bit more experience and the lads have been in the

Premier League for a year.”