McCarthy: Smells like team spirit

Published Dec. 13, 2010 7:15 a.m. ET

The Black Country club, currently decimated by injury, would have enjoyed a much bigger margin of success than their 1-0 victory but for the heroics of Ben Foster who put in a sublime display at Molineux. The England international goalkeeper was helpless, however, to stop Stephen Hunt's point-blank finish at the near post from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's low cross on the stroke of half-time, a strike which put Wolves within one point of safety. Wolves were more than worthy of their first league triumph since 2001 over Birmingham, who did not even manage a shot on target. McCarthy believes the nature of the success says a lot for his battling outfit. "I'm pleased, of course I am," said the Yorkshireman. "We've come away with a 1-0 victory but Wayne (Hennessey) has not made any saves of note to be fair. It was an all-round good performance. "I'm delighted with our team's performance, we played well." He explained: "People keep asking me about team spirit and morale and I keep saying 'It's good'. I'm not sure people believe me but I think performances like that speak volumes for it." Victory was massive for Wolves who kept their first clean sheet since April, and that was highlighted by the sight of chairman Steve Morgan congratulating his players at the full-time whistle. But McCarthy insists it is nothing out of the ordinary to see the supremo giving his support. "He cares about it, he's just like everybody else, he wants us to win and do well," said the Wolves boss. "He's very supportive, it's great. But it's not over and above anything else because that's the way he is with me. "It is nice that he comes down and everybody else sees that, I see it all the time." Birmingham never really operated through the gears and were firmly second best all afternoon, leaving them still without an away win since March. And manager Alex McLeish admitted his side's lack of fight was uncharacteristic as they suffered only a second defeat in nine games. "We never really started until the substitutes came on. We had a go at Wolves then and it was the first time we pinned them back," said the Scot. "But I think you have to give Wolves a lot of credit, they lost some key players and I didn't know whether psychologically that put some complacency in their heads. "But at the same time I did say to the players that Wolves really had a cause today, the fact they're in the bottom three is one and then losing those big players I'm sure gave every other player an extra 10%. "It was a poor performance. If you've seen us in all our games this season you'll see that was out of character but you have to give Wolves credit." McLeish played down Foster's heroics, which was surprising given the quality of his stops. "He made some saves, I need to have a look at how brilliant they were. I thought there were a lot of routine saves there," McLeish added. McCarthy responded: "He's a very good 'keeper and if they're routine then fabulous, but he kept them out of the net whether they're routine or great saves. "Wayne hasn't even made one routine save."