McCarthy upbeat over survival

Wanderers, who went into the Molineux game lying bottom of the

Premier League, took the lead in the 22nd minute when Steven

Fletcher headed in a cross from skipper Karl Henry. Andrew Johnson

made it 1-1 with 10 minutes to go, though, the former Everton

striker dispatching the ball beyond Wayne Hennessey just seconds

after coming on as a substitute. It was a blow to the hosts’ bid

for survival, but, with five games left to play, McCarthy is still

upbeat about their chances of getting out of trouble. “Everybody is

predicting what it is or isn’t going to take,” McCarthy said. “I

predict maybe one point or one goal better off than three others –

and we can still do it. “Every point is hard to get – Fulham are a

good side. I think other teams could have gone on and got beaten in

that game having conceded how we did and that late on. “But we

haven’t, so we’ll take the point, take the positives and keep going

with five more games to play. There will be no defeatists here or

negativity at all.” McCarthy played down suggestions he had set a

target of nine more points from the run-in. “Three wins would be

lovely, but I’m not so sure it will take that,” he said. “You tell

me all the teams out of the bottom three that are going to get

those two or three wins, and where they are going to come from. “I

don’t know, so I’m not going to put pressure on our lot by saying

we need three wins. “We don’t – we just need one point more than

three others. Who knows where that will come from, but I still

think we will get it.” Before Johnson levelled, Fulham manager Mark

Hughes was sent to the stands by referee Michael Oliver after

remonstrating with the match officials. Hughes was incensed by

Oliver’s decision to book Brede Hangeland for a challenge on

Fletcher, although he joked he may have been given his marching

orders for his inability to take out his frustrations on a bottle,

which he tried to kick but missed. “I was disappointed because I

felt Brede had won the ball,” Hughes said. “The referee interpreted

it in a different way and saw it fit to book my player for a

challenge I thought was fair, so that is why I reacted. “Probably

the fourth official played a part in my dismissal and it was for

missing the bottle I was aiming at three times – that was poor play

from my point of view!” Hughes subsequently made changes which paid

dividends, with Bobby Zamora – on for Eidur Gudjohnsen – tussling

with Christophe Berra for a ball into the box which fell to

Johnson, teeing up him up to score. “I won’t take any credit for

that – I’m just trying to make a difference,” Hughes said.

“Obviously AJ (Johnson) was ready to go on and make an impact, and

Bobby and Gael (Kakuta) were the same. “That’s what you want when

you make changes and Bobby used his physical presence in a key area

of the field, then AJ – who had been on for about 18 seconds – did

exactly what I hoped he would do. “It’s great for him because he

has just lacked goals of late and that is the only thing that has

been missing from his performances. That goal will do him the power

of good.” Hughes revealed that Zamora had been named on the bench

as a precaution after sustaining a back problem in training earlier

in the week. The manager also confirmed Fulham captain Danny Murphy

took a knock to the thigh and was taken off with a dead leg, but

was optimistic the midfielder would be available for Wednesday’s

clash with Bolton.