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.”