Mick McCarthy has vowed to continue his eclectic transfer policy in hope of unearthing another unpolished diamond or even better, a new Michael Kightly.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers manager has defended his practice of bringing in unheralded talents and insisted he will sustain his search for players in some of the more far-flung footballing outposts.
While some of the club’s supporters would rather see McCarthy wield his pen and chequebook with greater alacrity, the former Republic of Ireland coach has opted for unconventional moves like bringing in former international charge Ian Harte, and youngsters Sam Vokes and Richard Stearman.
“I’ve been wrong on some of them, but if you only set your targets on certain people, Michael Kightly would never have come to the club,” said McCarthy.
“I remember being at a dinner after I’d signed Kights and I don’t think anyone there thought I was sane - apart from Jez [Moxey]. I think people thought ‘how can the mighty Wolves be signing Kightly from non-League Grays’? Eighteen months on, he’s the hero and no one would argue he’s not one of the best signings we’ve made.
“I’m not going to say anyone’s wrong thinking it wouldn’t come off because we only get proved right somewhere down the line.”
n Walsall manager Jimmy Mullen believes his side could not have put themselves in a better position for the forthcoming League One season with their pre-season form so far.
Mullen was delighted with his side’s 4-0 annihilation of Worcester City this week and says the preparations couldn’t be better. His young side visit Rushall Olympic on Saturday at 3pm and then face Premier League Aston Villa on Tuesday evening at the Banks’s Stadium in a 7.45 kick-off.
Mullen, who took over at the end of last season from Richard Money, said: “The Worcester game was another step forward in our preparations. Once more I was pleased in the way the hole squad committed themselves to the task in hand.
“We handled the situation well and, to be honest, dominated from start to finish.”
Trialists George Ba and Patrik Suffo were on the scoresheet although Stephen Cooke chose to sit the game out for personal reasons. But Mullen suggested there was still a future for the youngster.