Wolverhampton V Norwich at Molineux Stadium : Match Preview
19 December 2011 06:31
McCarthy: Jarvis back on song
Mick McCarthy believes Wolves winger Matt Jarvis has regained the form which won him an England cap ahead of their home Barclays Premier League clash with Norwich.
Jarvis made his international debut last season against Ghana at Wembley after a string of fine performances, only for his standard of play to dip during the early part of the current campaign.
But he impressed McCarthy during the defeats against Manchester United at Old Trafford and then Stoke at Molineux on Saturday.
Potters manager Tony Pulis replaced makeshift right-back Jonathan Woodgate after only 20 minutes at the weekend after he had been given a roasting by Jarvis.
McCarthy said: "I think Jarvo has been excellent, certainly in the last two games.
"Against Manchester United, he was terrific and the reality is he caused havoc for 20 minutes against Stoke.
"He got 'assaulted' on one occasion and then got tripped for the penalty. Tony (Pulis) had to take Woodgate off.
"Jarvo was excellent and it is great to see him back at his best.
"It means he must be back to the form which earned him an England call because he is back to his best - and his best was when England were wanting to give him a cap.
"We've had performances like that from different players. We could do with them all at their best tomorrow night against Norwich."
McCarthy is hoping his side`s luck will change after what he considers to be a string of contentious refereeing decisions against them in recent weeks.
Against Stoke, Woodgate was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for giving away a penalty before being substituted.
Then replays suggested Wolves skipper Roger Johnson won the ball when conceding a free-kick which led to Stoke's equaliser.
He said: "We might feel hard done by although we've undone ourselves a bit with the second goal. But we did play well and when Lady Luck is not with you, how do you change it around?
"Maybe Saturday might be as low as it gets. It is all going to turn around after Christmas and we are going to be in the top six by March when all the things go in our favour!"
Wolves will be without Jamie O'Hara (calf) and Dave Edwards (groin) who have failed to recover from the setbacks which ruled them out of Saturday's 2-1 home reversal to Stoke.
Midfielder Kevin Foley (ankle) and defender Jody Craddock (hamstring) will attempt to gain fitness is a behind closed doors practice match later this week.
The Canaries are seven points clear of the bottom three but manager Paul Lambert knows a series of poor results over a busy festive period can bring a sudden halt to the upbeat mood around the club.
"This is an important period for us. We have Wolves, then Tottenham, QPR and Fulham in a short space of time so it will be really hard to juggle but we have earned the right to be here," the Scot said.
Expectations are rising among the Carrow Road faithful. The Canaries' home record has been the foundation around which they have built their season so far, but they have only scored nine times and won once on their travels.
Lambert is hoping his team can grab all three points, but is predicting a hard test for his men.
"It will be an extremely tough match," Lambert added.
"The crowd will be really vibrant up there.
"It's hard with Steven Fletcher and Kevin Doyle up front. They are a really good side and they shouldn't be looked at in any other way.
"It will be hard for us but we have to go there with the confidence that we can win the game."
On-loan Manchester United defender Ritchie de Laet (back) is expected to return to training this week but is unlikely to feature on Tuesday.
Former Everton striker James Vaughan is on course for a return in the new year from his knee problem, along with centre-back Elliott Ward (knee).