Henry return provides

dilemma for McCarthy


Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers welcome back midfield talisman Karl Henry ahead of tonight’s trip to Sheffield United.

Henry had to sit out Saturday’s 2-0 win over Blackpool with a one-match ban. His return will leave manager Mick McCarthy with a selection poser, as replacement Dave Edwards produced a man-of-the-match performance on Saturday.

McCarthy admitted: “Dave is what I’d describe as one of the unfortunates. He’s one of those people, when asked, come in and do a job. He can’t get a regular place in the side at the moment, because the one’s who are playing are doing so well.

“But Dave’s not on his own. There’s people like Neill Collins, Jason Shackell, Andy Keogh and Sam Vokes who are unfortunates as well.

“People often say, you can judge a side by the strength of their bench, but that only applies if the people on the bench are trying.

“The strength is in the back-up players if they come in and do as well as ours do.

“That’s the only way they can get in the first team, is by coming on and doing well”.

McCarthy is confident that central defender Richard Stearman will be able to shake-off the ankle injury he sustained against Blackpool, which led to his early withdrawal.

But McCarthy may well have to rule out fellow defender Michael Mancienne, the Chelsea loanee having picked up a virus while on England international duty last week in Germany.

Another injury victim, left sided Matt Jarvis will have a 45-minute run-out with a second string Wolves side at Stourbridge tonight in the Birmingham Senior Cup.

McCarthy is under no illusions of the task ahead at Sheffield as Wolves look to make it seven straight wins, while trying to stretch their six-point lead at the top of the table.

The Blades will be buzzing after their 5-2 success at Charlton Athletic last weekend, but McCarthy insists:

“Games like this suit me just fine. They’ll be no underdog, no favourite tonight,” he said. “In a strange sort of way, Sheffield United have more to lose than us. They are under pressure to perform in front of their own fans and turn us over. I prefer it like that.

“Blackpool was a harder game for us, because it was one we were expected to win – it doesn’t work like that.

“Sheffield United are a very good side and they’ll be in the mix for promotion, no doubt about that.

“But if we play as well as we can, then they’ll be more concerned about us”.

n Port Vale striker Luke Rodgers has finally completed his protracted loan move to League One side Yeovil Town.

Rodgers, aged 26, has joined Yeovil on an emergency loan until January 5 when boss Russell Slade is then understood to have the option to buy the former Shrewsbury man.