x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

McCarthy keeps a pack mentality

While Burnley have made a few people stand up and take notice this season, with victories over Manchester United and Everton, fellow promoted side Wolves have made an inauspicious start.

Wolves' Richard Stearman clears the ball.
Wolves' Richard Stearman clears the ball.

While Burnley have made a few people stand up and take notice this season, with victories over Manchester United and Everton, fellow promoted side Wolves have made an inauspicious start. An early away win at Wigan was a highlight, but three goals and four points from five games can best be described as mediocre. But manager Mick McCarthy knows that a stable, confident side is the key to staying in the top division; five games into the season is certainly not the time to panic.

McCarthy has expressed his confidence in his squad ahead of today's match with Fulham at Molineux. He has resisted the temptation to wield the axe and make wholesale changes to the team following their worst performance of the season during last weekend's 3-1 defeat against Blackburn at Ewood Park. The former Republic of Ireland manager is confident they will not play as badly again. He said: "If I wanted to make wholesale changes after what happened last week then this match would have been the perfect time to do it. But you can't imagine me doing that based on one game when everyone had played so well so far. The performance was really poor after the first 18 minutes so I am not going to judge all those players who played on that one performance."

The clash with Fulham gives McCarthy the chance to come up against a side who have been able to establish themselves in the top flight in the way that Wolves hope to do. But McCarthy knows that is easier said than done - and he points out two teams considered as Premier League stalwarts, Middlesbrough and Newcastle , were both relegated last season. "We want to stay in the Premier League and progress in the Premier League," added McCarthy.

"But you can see how cruel it can be because West Brom have been up and down and two clubs who have just gone down, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, have been in the Premier League for how long, 10 seasons? "Just because you have a good season or a couple of good seasons it doesn't preclude you from being down at the bottom end. "We all know how hard it is to survive but that is our aim." * With agencies

Wolves v Fulham, KO 5pm, Showseries Extra