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McCarthy aware of task ahead
Published : 09 May 2011 07:00:13
Mick McCarthy has warned there is still plenty of hard work ahead for Wolves if they are to win their battle for Barclays Premier League survival.
Goals from Steven Fletcher (two) and Adlene Guedioura enabled Wolves to win Sunday's derby clash with West Brom at Molineux and move out of the bottom three. It was the first time they had climbed clear of the relegation zone for 10 weeks.
But McCarthy will only celebrate if they are in the same position on May 22 after the final two matches with Sunderland away and Blackburn at home. McCarthy said: "It's a huge result, particularly with the position we were in before the game and, indeed, still are in now."
He added: "I've maintained all along when we've been in the bottom three that it's May 22 when we want to be out of it. So, while I'm proud of the way we've played in such a big game, we all need to remember that.
"There are two games to play and, while we're out of it for the moment, we're not safe and we need to stay focused on them because we want to stay out of the bottom three. We've got to approach the remaining two games in exactly the same way as the one against West Brom."
McCarthy hailed the contribution of Fletcher who took his goal tally to five in seven games since the Wolves manager challenged his Â£7million record signing to justify his price tag. The Scottish international only reclaimed his place after Kevin Doyle suffered a knee ligament injury six weeks ago.
McCarthy said: "Fletch has scored some important goals and it is lovely to be proved right. I spent millions on him, he was my first choice. That is why I went and got him in the summer before I went on my holidays. I thought it was the best piece of business I could have done. I think he has proved to be exactly what I thought he would be. He was delighted with his goals and I am thrilled with him."
Albion boss Roy Hodgson blamed his side's poor defending for only the second defeat in 10 games since he replaced Roberto Di Matteo. He said: "If you concede two goals in the first half from corners, and concede a third from an unfortunate error, you've got a mountain to climb.
"I thought we tried to climb it and dominated the second half, showed great fighting spirit, but it was from a nil-three position against a team who need the points. They were going to their level best to defend against us."
Peter Odemwingie scored a consolation penalty for the Baggies and became the first player this season to score in five successive Premier League matches. It also enabled him to achieve his best ever haul for a season of 15 goals, beating the 14 he scored for Lille during the 2006/2007 campaign.