McCarthy upbeat over survival

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy remains convinced his side will beat the drop despite seeing them denied victory over Fulham on Saturday.

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.