Wolverhampton Wanderer’s manager Mick McCarthy believes his high-flying side may finally be turning the corner when it comes to keeping clean sheets, having kept battling Burnley at bay in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Molineux.
His young defence, backed by goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, provided Wolves with their first clean sheet in seven games with midfield maestro Michael Kightly scoring twice.
McCarthy described the match in front of an enthusiastic 23,000-strong crowd, which esconsed Wolves on top of the Coca Cola Championship, as the “complete performance.”He said: “Because of the clean sheet it was probably one of our most complete performances. Kights (Kightly) will get the plaudits and deserves it with two good goals but the clean sheet really pleased me.”
The Yorkshireman had been calling for his side to become stronger defensively and was not disappointed with Ikeme continuing to impress between the sticks with full-backs Kevin Foley and Stephen Ward on form and Chelsea loan-star Michael Mancienne and England Under 21 team-mate Richard Stearman forging a fine partnership at centre-back.
McCarthy said: “The way we handled the game meant we were able to snuff out their threats. Let Kights have the headlines but I am giving the goalkeeper and the defence a bit of toffee because it was nice to keep the clean sheet. Kevin Foley and Wardy were again instrumental. Whether we look solid for the rest of the season depends where we are
“But Stears and Michael look a good partnership. They have played together at junior level for England and slotted together really well. They are two good centre-halves. That pair want to go and defend and they enjoy defending and they have both got pace.
“Shacks (Jason Shackle) and Neil Collins do the same as well so the two that are in are under pressure because, if they don’t play well, the competition is there.”