Wolverhampton manager Mick McCarthy vowed his side would fight on after their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke City on Tuesday.Wolves are neck-deep in a battle to retain their English Premier League status for next season and remain in the relegation zone after their loss at the Britannia Stadium, although they are just one point from safety with four games to play.
McCarthy said the performance was not befitting of a side in his control, and he hoped the Midlands club could bounce back and recover their form that saw them beat rivals Aston Villa away on March 19 – their most recent victory.
“We (need to) respond with more of a Mick McCarthy performance because that wasn’t, to be fair, from my team, which was hugely disappointing,” he said.
“Nothing of the performance (against Stoke) can lift us. It’s some of the performances throughout the season we can remember (that will inspire Wolves) and the nine wins that we’ve had and how we’ve played very well. We’ve played far better.”
“Playing for Premiership survival should be enough to motivate them. I’ve not had any performance like that this season.”
“Why we’ve come from where we were at Villa to what we’ve had in the last four games, I don’t know.”
Wolves’ survival chances suffered more than one blow on Tuesday, when Steven Fletcher limped off with a knee injury. But McCarthy said the severity of the knock was yet to be confirmed.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis said their resounding victory all but kept the club in the English top flight for the next campaign – which will be their fourth consecutive in the top flight.
“Wolves had a go the first ten minutes (of the second half) and Jermaine’s goal really killed the game, but it was a cracking performance and it was a big game for us, a massive game for us,” Pulis said.
“I think those points will most probably keep us in the Premiership for a fourth year and we are in the final of the FA Cup – it’s not bad is it, for Stoke City? “
The 53-year-old Welshman only has one concern, with winger Matthew Etherington in doubt for the FA Cup final on May 15 after he picked up a hamstring injury on Tuesday.
“The disappointing thing is Etherington with his hamstring. We are just hoping and praying that Matty will be fit in two-and-a-half weeks’ time,” Pulis said.
“We’ll have a scan tomorrow and find out how bad it is.”
“That is the major disappointment of the game tonight but the rest of it, it’s just absolutely fantastic.”