McCarthy lauds 'terrific' Craddock
Mick McCarthy hailed Jody Craddock's performance after Wolves' 0-0 draw with Stoke, a game in which the defender made his 500th league outing. The 34-year-old Craddock and fellow centre-back Christophe Berra had to deal with a long-throw bombardment - 24 in total - from Stoke midfielder Rory Delap in Sunday's Premier League clash at Molineux. But the clean sheet and home goalless draw moved Wolves six points clear of the bottom three with four games remaining. Craddock played for three quarters of the game with his head bandaged up after an aerial clash with Abdoulaye Faye but demonstrated why he has been offered a new contract by McCarthy. The Wolves boss said: "Jody is great. He has been terrific. That is why I want him to stay. But I bet he hasn't played as well as that for 500 games. "If he had played like that for 500 games he would have been at Manchester United or somewhere else. "But Jody and Christophe were superb. We had to defend. Stoke make you defend. They do that well (the long throw) and we've combated that well." McCarthy revealed he had spent only a few minutes on the training ground working out how to stop the danger posed by Delap. He said: "We had about four minutes on Saturday morning where we discussed where I wanted players to go. Since when it has become a surprise that centre-halves have to head the ball? "The long throw from Delap is an effective weapon but, the more you make of it, you just put more fear into your own team." McCarthy is determined Wolves will keep their destiny in their own hands rather than be dragged into a last-minute battle to survive. He said: "I'd like to finish top of that bottom pile of teams - where we are at present - above Wigan, West Ham, Bolton, Burnley, Hull and Portsmouth. "Someone in the bottom three has got to get seven points from their remaining games to get above us anyway but we are not resting on our laurels. "We want to continue to get results and end with a flurry, not causing ourselves any problems by worrying about other results. Let's do it for ourselves. We won't get complacent." Tony Pulis gained satisfaction from Stoke equalling their best run of top-flight away results for 30 years and they are now unbeaten in six games away from the Britannia Stadium. The Stoke manager said: "I think it is only Chelsea who have got a better goals against record than us on the road so it is really encouraging considering the away form we had last year. "We knew we had to improve the away form because we knew we couldn't replicate our home form in the second year. "It has been very important and it is something the lads have picked up on and worked very hard at. "I just think it is down to a little bit more experience and the lads have been in the Premier League for a year."
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