Mick McCarthy has kicked off the countdown to Wolves’ next survival test by declaring that Tottenham’s need to win might play into their hands.
Spurs arrive at Molineux on Sunday having seen Chelsea climb a point above them and into the final Champions League spot after toppling leaders Manchester United 2-1 on Tuesday.
Harry Redknapp’s side, who have not played since losing 3-1 at Blackpool on February 22, will be fresh from a five-day warm weather training camp in Dubai before facing Wolves then AC Milan in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie next Wednesday.
Wolves will be seeking their third Molineux scalp against Champions League opposition after beating Chelsea and United already since New Year’s Day.
And McCarthy believes the added spice of Spurs’ equal desperation for the points could help Wolves.
“That might be good for us though – they’ve got to win the game and come at us,” McCarthy told the Wolverhampton Express and Star.
“People say ‘you’ve got to win the game’, but what would you do differently if you hadn’t got to win the game?”
“People might say they’ve got to beat us to stay in contention, but we had to win on Saturday against Blackpool.”
“What did we do differently? We just played well and that’s what we’ll have to do again.”
McCarthy paid tribute to Spurs, however, saying they can win a game from anywhere on the pitch.
“I saw them at Blackpool when they were beaten, yet they could have won the game comfortably,” he said.
“They play some fabulous football – you only had to look at the way they picked holes in Blackpool to see that.”
“They kept slipping it at the side of them and getting around the back of them – they really do play some brilliant football.”
Redknapp is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing his men – he has been impressed by a number of Wolves’ performances this season.
The Midlands club may still be languishing in the bottom three but they have claimed some notable scalps and Redknapp fully expects them to beat the drop.
“I’ve said all along that I don’t think Wolves will go down, that’s been my opinion for months,” he told Tottenham’s official website.
“I think they are a good side and they will definitely stay up. I don’t see them as a relegation team at all.”
“It’s always a difficult place to go and win. They’ve already beaten United there, City, Chelsea, so that underlines how tough it is there. But we have to go and pick up a result.”
Redknapp is now gearing up for a crucial period, which includes the clash with Wolves followed by a home game against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League.
A 1-0 victory in the San Siro last month has given Tottenham the chance to make it through to the quarter-finals and Redknapp hopes his side can rise to the occasion.
“We’d been playing so well (before Blackpool) and everything just went wrong on the night,” he added. “We have to come back from that now.”
“It’s another big week for us. Wolves and then AC Milan, that’s a massive game, one of the biggest games in the history of the club.”
“We’re preparing for those games now and hopefully it will be another good week for us.”