Karl Henry believes Wolves have to rediscover how to play "ugly" as he looks to put his weekend spat with Joey Barton behind him in Tuesday night's Carling Cup clash with Millwall at Molineux.
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy dismissed QPR midfielder Barton's claims that Henry "tries to hurt people" after the weekend clash between the sides at Molineux which the visitors won 3-0. Now his former skipper Henry is looking for below-par Wolves to return to the traits that helped them gain promotion from the Championship and stay in the top flight for the past two seasons.
Henry said: "We want to play football and it is something we've added to our game. We've got better players in the team than we had last season. But we've still got to know our identity and what we are about. From time to time it is going to be an ugly game and you've got to earn the right to play. We didn't do that against QPR."
He added: "We've not lost our identity but maybe just forget what has got us here in the first place, why we have stayed in the league for two years.
"We are not going to go through this season playing like Brazil every week and staying in the Premier League that way.
"It is going to be a hard slog. We've got to know what we are about and there are times when we've got to make it ugly - and we didn't do that against QPR."
McCarthy is refusing to be drawn into a war or words with Barton who claimed "I don't know what Mick has been smoking" after reports that Wolves had rejected the chance to sign him.
The Wolves boss said: "I have my opinions but generally I keep them to myself. Opinions are like backsides. We've all got them but it is not always wise to air them in public. Maybe we could all take a note of that.
"I haven't read Barton's comments and I'm not interested. You will not get me to start dignifying any of them with a response, but I will say Karl is one of the best pros I've ever worked with in terms of his attitude and conscientiousness to his profession.
"He has earned himself the right to play in the Premier League by his guts and determination and made himself a better player. I've got nothing but admiration for him and never, ever has he gone out to hurt anyone."