McCarthy glad survival heat is off

07 May 2010 01:11
Mick McCarthy goes into the game with Sunderland admitting his relief the "gut-wrenching, heart-pounding feeling" of fighting the drop is over.[LNB] With Wolves' Premier League survival having been assured last month, their last two games of the season have been pressure free.[LNB]McCarthy admits that, after a virtual season long-battle to try to retain their Premier League status, not having any pressure is something new for the former Sunderland boss.[LNB]He said: "I know there are points and prize money at stake but it is not quite the same compared to that heart-wrenching, stomach-churning feel to a game.[LNB]I think that is natural.[LNB]"I have mixed emotions about it.[LNB]There is a real sense of pride and satisfaction about what we have achieved and the amount of people who keep telling me what a great achievement it is has been nice.[LNB]"But it hasn't really sunk in. I had a really strange feeling when it happened. It was almost an anti-climax that that gut wrenching, heart pounding feeling had gone. I am glad it has now and I am glad I don't have that for Sunday, I really am.[LNB]"Staying in the Premier League is a bigger achievement than winning the Championship.[LNB]"It just doesn't feel like it, celebrating 17th, 16th, 15th, 14th spot wherever we end up.[LNB]"Last season was wound up to a crescendo of winning the Championship and it is almost feels like you have wound down to staying in the league which seems barmy when it is a bigger achievement. But I can't help that.[LNB]"I am thrilled and delighted with it but it is still a strange thing."[LNB]After their survival had been assured Wolves lost 3-1 at Portsmouth last weekend - only their second defeat in nine games - and McCarthy added: "I think we have been so wound up to when we were safe that it is hard to get that back again.[LNB]"You always want to win the game but when that pressure is not there, there is something missing."[LNB]A win could see Wolves finish 14th while victory for Steve Bruce's Sunderland would give them a chance of securing 10th.[LNB]There is a certain taste of revenge to the game for Wolves as they were beaten 5-2 at the Stadium of Light last September - a result that McCarthy still describes as "ridiculous".[LNB]He added: "Sunderland can finish 10th so that is a something for them to play for. It looked like they were going to do it comfortably when they started.[LNB]"We lost 5-2 up there but anyone who saw that game will know it was the most ridiculous result ever. When we got back to 2-2 they were hanging on and after a great strike by Kenwyne Jones it all went wrong for us.[LNB]"They were scoring goals then and it looked like they were going to have a great season.[LNB]"But they went through a lean spell and have come back again and if they finish 10th then Steve will be delighted with that.[LNB]"At times, Steve was starting to look as flustered as I was on the touchline.[LNB]It is difficult when you get into that rut and can't win enough games.[LNB]"But they have come out of it again and if they finish 10th it will be a real achievement for them. They are a real solid team and they have got some good players."

Source: Team_Talk