Wolverhampton V Man City at Molineux Stadium : Match Preview

22 April 2012 10:10
Wolves drop will scar me - Connor

Interim boss Terry Connor admits his reputation will be tarnished if Wolves are relegated from the Barclays Premier League. Connor had spent 13 years as a member of the coaching staff under four different managers before he was asked to replace the sacked Mick McCarthy for the final 13 games. Wolves' fate could be confirmed this weekend if other results go against them and they are beaten by visiting Manchester City, but Connor will take his fair share of responsibility should they go down. "I won't be slightly tarnished by it, I will be tarnished by it (if Wolves go down)," he said. "That's not a problem. I worked under Mick (McCarthy) for a number of years so I will be accepting whatever responsibility I have to take for the season. "The last 13 games have been my responsibility." Connor believes tragic events such as the death of Wales manager Gary Speed and Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest will put matters into perspective if Wolves return to the npower Championship. "It's not the end of the world. There would be a lot of hurt though," he said. "Things have happened this season in football, such as what happened to Bolton (Muamba) at Tottenham, and to Gary Speed, so football can sometimes be taken out of context. "But a lot of people will feel the hurt - supporters, staff and players, if that's the case (relegation). "The process will start for next season straight away and you hope to build again for the future." Connor has faith in goalkeeper Dorus de Vries who will make his first league start since last summer's move from Swansea against Roberto Mancini's side.

Wayne Hennessey's knee ligament injury has handed De Vries his opportunity for the final four games of the season. Connor said: "I'm sure come Sunday and 4pm, he'll want to keep goal and keep as many clean sheets as he possibly can. "Dorus wanted a new challenge. I think he felt he'd gone as far as he could do at Swansea. "He wanted to come here and prove his worth this season. "Wayne has performed particularly well this season, even in a difficult season, and so his chances have been limited. "Dorus will want to go out there on Sunday and give a good account of himself because he is a first-choice keeper. He knew what he was doing when he came here, and he was up for the challenge. "All that will be in his mind is helping us beat Manchester City."

City boss Mancini is not dwelling on what might have been with Carlos Tevez after admitting his return has rejuvenated the team's attack. Tevez has struck four goals in his first two starts since rejoining the squad following his well-documented dispute with the club, including a hat-trick in last week's 6-1 hammering of Norwich. For much of his absence from the side, which stretched to almost six months, the Argentinian was not missed as Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli regularly found the net. But a collective loss of form and crucial injuries in March saw City concede the initiative in the title race to Manchester United. At that time Tevez was still lacking match-fitness but Mancini only wants to focus on the extra dimension the now on-form forward offers for the rest of the season. Mancini said: "Carlos can find his best form like this, playing. I think his last two games that he played, he improved a lot. "Also without Carlos we scored a lot of goals, but it is normal if you have players like Carlos you can score more goals. "Maybe there are some moments you have two strikers that maybe are not in form, but you have another two. "This is the difference, it is clear - but we did everything in November and December to try to take Carlo here again." Tevez has linked superbly with his countryman and top scorer Aguero since his return to the starting line-up.

Aguero, City's £38million record signing, also struck four times in the convincing wins over West Brom and Norwich to take his tally for the campaign to 28. With Balotelli suspended and Dzeko without a goal since February, the pair could again be in tandem for the trip to Molineux. Mancini said: "They are Argentina players, they know how to play with each other. "I think Carlos can play with Mario, Sergio or Dzeko. "The only players that probably can't play together are Mario and Dzeko, because maybe they are the same player. "They have some problem to play together but the other players can play together, no problem."

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Source: PA