Wolves face another slumping side this weekend in Burnley, and McCarthy believes the time has come to stop the rot, starting tomorrow at Turf Moor.
"We want to get back to winning ways, of course we all do," he told the club's website. "But we have to earn that, it doesn't come through anything other than playing well and not conceding goals.
"Of course there aren't any of us that are infallible and don't make mistakes.
"There have been errors, and I'm looking for us to defend better and keep a clean sheet because we score goals."
Despite impressive performances in both the Carling Cup and FA Cup this season, Burnley have suffered a poor run in the league of late and have dropped out of the play-off reckoning and down to 10th place.
McCarthy is not fooled by their recent plight, however, and is expecting a stern test this weekend against a team that have beaten Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham and West Brom in cup competitions this season.
"Burnley are a good side with some good, experienced players," McCarthy continued.
"They play good football as well, there's no bashing it up to the frontmen and then trying to strangle the game.
"As well as some good individuals there's also a real team work."