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Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was taking nothing for granted after seeing his side ease towards Premier League safety at Sunderland.
McCarthy’s men snatched a 3-1 win on Wearside – something his Black Cats team did not manage in 19 attempts in the top flight during his spell in charge – to ease themselves into 16th place, although just a single point clear of the drop zone going into next weekend’s final day clash with Blackburn at Molineux. However, he knows their fate remains in their own hands as the season reaches a dramatic conclusion.
McCarthy said: “It’s the same three points as last week. I said it would go to May 22 and it’s going there, isn’t it? Nobody can do anything about it. Everybody has been in your earhole – the media, mums, dads, kids, friends. ‘If this happens’. ‘If that happens’. Just win our game. If we win our game, then nobody can do anything about it, and the same applies on Sunday against Blackburn.”
Wolves’ second successive 3-1 league victory came courtesy of an impressive second-half display as injury-hit Sunderland imploded. McCarthy was delighted with the result, but admitted he had not enjoyed the game.
He said: “Not one little bit, no. I enjoyed the result. I enjoyed our second-half performance because we played well, but we had been battered for 45 minutes. We got slapped and we had to certainly improve and up our game, which we did, and I think second half, we deserved to win, to be honest with you. I don’t think anyone could argue with that point.”
Opposite number Steve Bruce was left to reflect on a seventh home league defeat of a campaign which is ending with a whimper after starting so brightly.
Bruce said: “Everybody realises the problems. However, there is still no hiding place. We have conceded three against Fulham, three against West Brom and three against Wolves today at home – that to me is the disappointment. We haven’t defended properly, we haven’t shown the right resilience, and of course I am playing people out of position back there. It’s been a big frustration.”
Defender John Mensah showed his frustration when he was replaced by teenager Louis Laing with three minutes remaining by heading straight down the tunnel without acknowledging the substitute.
Bruce said: “Things like that happen in football. He’s got a good right to be disappointed – I was disappointed in his second-half performance. Things happen in the heat of the game. He is understandably upset, he didn’t want to come off – we will deal with that and we will live with that and we will move on.
“In his eyes, he did not give a jot who was coming on. He was just thinking one thing, total disappointment in himself, which happens in the heat of the moment. The one thing about John Mensah is he is a highly-respectable man. However in his actions today, he has let himself down.”