New Year, new hopes and expectations, but, yesterday at least, same old Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The potential December derailment to Wolves' promotion push has seen Mick McCarthy's men plummet from third to tenth in the space of four weeks, albeit still only two points off the play-off places.

And if it was former West Bromwich Albion manager Bryan Robson feeling the heat from his supporters prior to bringing his Sheffield United team to Molineux, it was McCarthy who finished up bearing the brunt of the first major dissent of his near 18-month reign.

The 65th-minute decision to replace the illness-hit Andy Keogh with Stephen Elliott drew loud and sustained boos from a section of the Wolves crowd, quickly followed by "You don't know what you're doing."

And if the frustration was understandable amid the goalless draw which means Wolves have taken just four points from seven games, it's a situation McCarthy is determined to "tough out".

"Yes I heard the chants," he acknowledged. "That's football, that's the way it is, and I remember sitting here saying 'Super Mick McCarthy' could quickly become an anagram of 'Mick McCarthy out'.

"I do think I still know what I'm doing to be honest, but if people don't think so the only way to sway them is by winning football matches.

"The fans gave us unbelievable support last season, and they have to stick with us, but I'd sooner they give me the grief than the players.

"We're all in it together, from the players through to the fans, and we just have to tough it out and turn things around."

McCarthy admitted Wolves' hopes of building on Saturday's more promising draw at Norwich were always going to be hindered by a safety-first policy from Robson, who employed a 4-5-1 formation.

New signing Gary Speed operated just in front of the Blades back four, although still managing to push forward on occasions not least as early as the fifth minute to deliver a powerful shot beaten away by Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey.

United were happy to sit back and try and hit Wolves on the break, and nearly did so particularly in a purple patch after the interval when Jon Stead and Rob Hulse shot narrowly wide and former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie was denied by Hennessey.

Wolves had enjoyed most of the first-half possession and consequently most of the promise, without ever threatening to find the sort of spark and cutting edge so absent since Michael Kightly was injured eight games ago.

It made for a frustrating first hour or so prior to Keogh's withdrawal. Ironically it was only after Molineux went into one of its familiar and self-destructive spells of angst that Wolves produced their best chances. Jay Bothroyd was sent clear by Seyi Olofinjana 14 minutes from time only to shoot straight at Paddy Kenny and Olofinjana twice tried his luck.

"It has been a difficult four weeks or so, and nobody is enjoying the fact we're not winning games," said McCarthy. "We need a spark and a zip, which is something we have to address, but that's something that will have to come from the players already here rather than any from outside." ..SUPL: