Mick McCarthy is leading the chase to capture highly-rated midfielder Wes Hoolahan from Championship rivals Blackpool.

According to reports in the Irish media the embattled Wolverhampton Wanderers manager is poised to beat a host of rivals to secure a deal for the former Eire Under-21 international.

Hoolahan is valued at around £700,000 by the Bloomfield Road outfit who have already rejected a £500,000 bid from Bryan Robson's Sheffield United.

Despite Wolves' poor recent form - they have not won for seven games, McCarthy will be handed funds to strengthen a squad that at one stage this season was threatening to break into the automatic promotion places.

McCarthy, who has been criticised for the team's prosaic style of football as well as poor results, could do with some of the 25-year-old's upward mobility and the goal threat he presents having already scored six times this term.

Just two years ago Hoolahan was playing in the eircom League of Ireland before making a seamless switch from Shelbourne to Scottish side Livingston.

Within six months he was loaned to Black-pool with whom he has scored 16 goals in just over a year.

Unfortunately for him McCarthy will be without his most able lieutenant for a game he must not l ose - this weekend's FA Cup tie with Cambridge United.

Jody Craddock, who has only just returned from a groin problem has now picked up a calf strain in training.

That deprives to the experienced defender the chance to appear against one of his former clubs.

Academy graduate Daniel Jones will remain on loan with Northampton Town until January 26. n Iain Dowie is hoping a second spell of cup magic can inspire Coventry City out of the inertia that is threatening to undermine their entire season.

The Sky Blues had not won for three games when they last played away in knockout competition but went to Manchester United in the Carling Cup and produced a stunning 2-0 victory that gave their campaign a big lift.

They went on to win four of their next eight matches and rose to fifth in the table but since then they have prevailed in only two of ten outings and have slumped to within five points of the relegation places.

That means they travel to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup this weekend desperate for a change in fortunes and the sort of boost that they could carry into the important Championship match at Leicester City on Saturday week.

"I think that win at United was very important and gave us a big impetus," said the Coventry manager. "It gave people something to talk about and we hadn't had as big a win for a long time.

"It gave the whole town a lift and our cup displays have been very good this year. We got beat by West Ham but we shouldn't have and could have been in the quarter-finals.

"So our form has been good and very consistent in the cup and hopefully that will continue at Blackburn because the FA Cup is a special competition."

Off the pitch the club have urged their shareholders to hand over their shares so that Ray Ranson's SISU Capital consortium can reach the 90 per cent mark they need to guarantee their takeover at Ricoh Arena.

Around 1,400 shares, belonging to 52 hold-ers, have been transferred in the last 24 hours but SISU are not yet at the level where they can compulsorily purchase the remainder.