Mick McCarthy’s team came in for some criticism the way they approached the Newcastle game a couple of weeks ago.
Mick McCarthy – hey ref he just kicked my player
Their plan seemed to be to make it a very physical game against Newcastle, who were fresh from hammering a good side – Aston Villa – by a score of 6-0 in their first home game of the season.
But their manager today insists Wolves are not guilty of adopting bully-boy tactics, and the former Ireland and Sunderland manager said today:
“I think this perception that we’re a team roughing people up is completely wrong.” “We’re a team competing in the Premier League and you have to do it. I think people have got the wrong end of the stick.”
“Let me tell you – whatever went down against Newcastle a week last Saturday will be for the other 17 teams we’ve still got to play here.” “Everyone else that comes here have got the same to come. It’s a competitive place.”
“People like to hang tags on things but don’t go labelling us a dirty side. We play our football and we compete.” “We tackle properly and we’re going to continue doing the same.” “If you don’t stand up to it, you get beat.”
” Against Newcastle, we stood up to a really experienced team who I don’t think should even have been in the Championship.” “I was proud of the lads for the way we competed in both games. The Newcastle game was a tough old match – but there were no shrinking violets.”
We don’t really have too much against the Wolves style of play, although it was definitely a rough encounter that day, but after all football is a contact sport and not for wimps.
Joey Barton came in for some rough handling that day, and he did very well not to lose his cool, and he came out of the game looking very good – again. And we all know Joey can dish it out, so it was rather amusing at the end of the game when he was complaining to Mick McCarthy about the rough play, when Mick told Joey he was like the frying pan calling the kettle black.
Mick claims he got a smile out of Joey when he said that.
Joey did complain to the referee more than once in the game – for protection – but if you look at it from the Wolves viewpoint, Newcastle had only just throttled Aston Villa – a very good team by 6-0 – so Wolves did not want to be at the losing end of another hiding, especially by half time.
So it’s probably not too surprising that they played very rough, especially in that first half, and Newcastle still had a number of chances they should have put away – but didn’t.
Football is a tough game, played by men, and we liked the attitude of our manager Chris Hughton after the game.
He refused to criticize Wolves at all – and said the roughness was all part of the game – and he had expected it – and certainly wasn’t complaining. But then again when was the last time Chris complained or used an excuse for anything?
Chris is not in the excuses business, and that’s just one of the thing we like about the man. Let’s get the 3 points against Blackpool on Saturday – that’s the only thing that matters right now.