Mick McCarthy claimed Wolverhampton Wanderers' derby triumph over Birmingham City is a testament of the team spirit within his struggling side as they battle to climb out of the relegation zone.
Wolves bite pleases boss McCarthy
Wolves 1 // Birmingham City 0
Wolves Hunt 45’
Man of the match Christophe Berra (Wolves)
WOLVERHAMPTON // Mick McCarthy claimed Wolverhampton Wanderers' derby triumph over Birmingham City is a testament of the team spirit within his struggling side as they battle to climb out of the relegation zone.
Injury-hit Wolves would have enjoyed a much bigger margin of success than their 1-0 victory but for the heroics of Ben Foster, the Birmingham goalkeeper, who was sublime at Molineux.
Foster was helpless, however, to stop Stephen Hunt's point-blank finish at the near post from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's low cross on the stroke of half-time, a strike which put Wolves within one point of safety.
Wolves were more than worthy of their first league triumph since 2001 over Birmingham, who did not manage a shot on target.
McCarthy believes the nature of the success says a lot for his battling outfit. "I'm pleased, of course I am," he said. "We've come away with a 1-0 victory but Wayne [Hennessey] has not made any saves of note to be fair. It was an all-round good performance."
He added: "People keep asking me about team spirit and morale and I keep saying 'It's good'. I'm not sure people believe me but I think performances like that speak volumes for it."
It was also a first clean sheet for Wolves since April.
Birmingham were firmly second best all afternoon, leaving them still without an away win since March. And Alex McLeish, the manager, admitted his side's lack of fight was uncharacteristic as they suffered only a second defeat in nine games.
"We never really started until the substitutes came on. We had a go at Wolves then and it was the first time we pinned them back," he said. "It was a poor performance. If you've seen us in all our games this season you'll see that was out of character but you have to give Wolves credit."