Mick welcomes quick turnaround

Following their 3-0 home defeat to Everton on April 9, Wanderers

had to wait a fortnight before taking to the field again, during

which time they dropped to the bottom of the Premier League. The

result against the Cottagers moved McCarthy’s side up to 19th,

although a win would have taken them out of the relegation zone.

They have five games left to get themselves out of trouble, and the

manager is glad the players will be back in action as soon as

Tuesday, when they travel to Stoke. “It’s better playing – I don’t

want a two-week gap and the players don’t,” McCarthy said. “At this

stage of the season, coming into training you have got to be

motivated and the games really motivate you, preparing for them.

“We were ready for this game. Unfortunately we’ve not taken the

three points but there is not much time to breathe before the next

one and we have got three coming in the next few days.” Wolves, who

follow up the Stoke match with a trip to Birmingham next Sunday and

then a home clash with West Brom a week later, were denied victory

on Saturday by Andrew Johnson’s equaliser 10 minutes from time. The

hosts had taken the lead in the 22nd minute when Steven Fletcher

headed in skipper Karl Henry’s cross. Johnson levelled just seconds

after coming on, though, fellow substitute Bobby Zamora tussling

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

former Everton man, teeing up him up to score. Although

disappointed Wanderers could not hold on for all three points,

McCarthy felt a draw was a fair outcome. “I don’t think we

dominated the game at all,” he said. “They have a good side and

good players on the bench that they put on to try to get a result.

“But having got a good goal and had to defend, which we were doing

well, I was just disappointed with the way the goal was conceded.”

Fulham manager Mark Hughes watched Johnson equalise from the

stands, having been sent there by referee Michael Oliver early in

the second half. Hughes was incensed by Oliver’s decision to book

Brede Hangeland for a challenge on Fletcher and showed his

frustration by kicking out at a water bottle. The Welshman was

promptly given his marching orders and after the final whistle

Hughes suggested the contest may have been “too much” for Oliver.

“I think on occasions both myself and Mick were a little bit

baffled with some of the officials’ decisions,” Hughes told the

BBC. “We know it is a difficult role and they do it to the best of

their ability, but on occasions it looked a little bit too much for

the referee. “He probably needs to take a step back and have a few

more games, possibly at a lower level, so he is better equipped

next time. “I asked him what I got sent off for and apparently it

was abuse of a water bottle – that’s a new one on me.”