x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

McCarthy on the defensive

After two weekends being berated for his team's aggressiveness, Mick McCarthy had nothing to defend after the 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

LONDON // After two weekends being berated for his team's aggressiveness, Mick McCarthy had nothing to defend after the 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. Wolverhampton Wanderers had gone to White Hart Lane, played precise, passing football, and been unfortunate to leave without point. A count of 13 yellow cards, one red, and Bobby Zamora's broken leg was reduced to three cautions against Spurs - and one of those was for dissent.

In characteristically earthy Yorkshire lexicon, McCarthy noted that his team had not needed to kick lumps off Tottenham and then said something more printable. "I can't help the furore and media storm surrounding us about us being a dirty team," McCarthy said. "I can't do anything to change it except keep playing the way we've been always been playing - compete, pass the ball, play fairly. There were a couple of games when we got a lot of bookings.

"Fifa and Uefa would like to take all that competitiveness out of the game and we'll all have a nice tippy-tappy game and nobody will come and watch it because the British public enjoy people tackling. "We've not come down and kicked anybody. We treated our hosts with the greatest of respect apart from scoring against them." Tottenham look ahead to tomorrow's home tie in the Carling Cup against north London rivals Arsenal. A slight groin problem permitting Alan Hutton, the man of the match on Saturday, will start against the Gunners.

Harry Redknapp also plans to hand Sandro, the 18-year-old Brazilian, a debut in central midfield and grant game time to Wilson Palacios and Niko Kranjcar, but said he said he will not start William Gallas, the centre-back, against his former club. @Email:sports@thenational.ae