McCarthy laments tough period
Wolves have only won one league match since the opening day of the season, and have lost their last four games, a sequence that has seen them slip to 19th place in the Premier League, five points behind Wigan in 18th. The Molineux side are also in the midst of a defensive crisis ahead of tomorrow's clash against his former team Sunderland as they look for their first clean sheet of the season. Christophe Berra is banned, Steven Mouyokolo has a 50-50 chance of playing due to a back injury while Jody Craddock is still out with a hip complaint. McCarthy admits he is facing the stiffest challenge of his Wolves career so far. "It is the toughest," he said. "We had a really tough spell when we lost to Birmingham last year, but we came out of it and got three wins out of four. "I guess that's what we're looking for again, we've got to find that from somewhere. "Our performances have been better than they were last year, and we look a better team now. "But the results have been worse." But despite this doom and gloom, McCarthy insists he is not feeling any pressure. He added: "I'm enjoying doing the job, although I don't enjoy it when we get beaten. "I'm still smiling." As for his team's injury woes, McCarthy joked: "We've got one of the cleaners in the squad and we've got a chef in as well the way things are going. "It's been a ridiculous run of injuries having already lost Karl Henry (to injury against Blackpool), Kevin Foley opened his knee up in the week, Steven Fletcher's been off poorly and Dave Edwards is still missing. "Apart from that, everything's great. All rosy in the garden." The former Sunderland boss believes his team are not far off getting the results he feels they deserve. He continued: "I think it's just that final bit, whether it's the final pass or cross or somebody making a run and sliding in and getting it right. "At the moment it's just been a little bit off centre for us, but we've got to keep working at it and make sure we get it right." McCarthy added that although spirits are still high at the training ground, players cannot help but be affected by poor results. He said: "There's no doom and gloom around the place but having been a player I understand it has to affect you. "We do everything within our power to make sure they feel good about themselves and are confident going out on Saturday. "That has been evident with our performances. "We don't look like a team that's given up the ghost." Barring an eight-goal victory by Aston Villa over Arsenal in the early kick-off, Sunderland will start the match in seventh after a good run of results, including a 3-0 win at Chelsea. McCarthy, though, insists he has no concerns about the Black Cats' recent form. "It doesn't matter that they come here on great form," he said. "They've been to Chelsea and won, but it's not Chelsea, it's not Everton, they're playing Wolves, and it's about our performance."