Wolverhampton Wanderers return to action tomorrow after a fortnight's break looking for the chance to atone for their luckless 4-0 defeat to Championship leaders Cardiff City.

But, other than his own side's failure to take their chances, manager Mick McCarthy says that the freakish nature of that nightmare afternoon at Ninian Park has helped keep things in perspective during his side's enforced break.

Not only did Wolves have to contend with the red card erroneously delivered to key defender Gary Breen but also a comic-cuts own goal on an afternoon when anything that could go wrong did go wrong against Wolves' former boss Dave Jones. But McCarthy regards it merely as one to forget about, rather than worry about.

"I've not had two weeks with my head in my hands beating myself up over the performance," said McCarthy, before tomorrow's home clash with mid-table Colchester United. "There were a lot of good things to come out of it, even with only ten men.

"Had we gone there and been bashed, over-run and mauled it would have been a long two weeks but I came away thinking there wasn't actually a lot we could have done.

"We were as good as, if not better than, them for the first 23 minutes, we'd quietened their crowd and I'm not sayi ng that would have continued for 90 minutes. But then we had a sending-off that, as it has since turned out, wasn't a sending-off, we don't mark from a corner kick and it costs us and then we have an own goal and, from then on, it was like trying to push treacle up a hill.

"Their other two goals came when we'd put two centre-forwards on and were trying to get back in it and have a go and, even then, we

had two chances, from Jay Bothroyd and Seyi Olofinjana, two great chances. And that's an area we have to look at throughout the team.

"But it was no more than a link in the chain broken.

"We made a mistake and it cost us and the goals we conceded we've discussed to make sure they didn't happen again.

"But we were as good as, if not better than, them, they'd not really hurt us and it was Gary Breen's sending-off that changed it."

It all triggered Wolves' heaviest defeat at this level since a 5-1 pummelling to Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park in February 2005. But, unlike ten, the Cardiff reverse was made all the more painful, quite apart from the way the luck went the home team's way, given who was stood there trying not to look smug in the home dug-out.

If McCarthy and his men have proved mentally untroubled by what went on in south Wales, the most tangible repercussion of their visit was the ultimate chalking off of Breen's red card. He will be expected to resume his place against Colchester tomorrow.

As for any other changes, Carl Cort is back in training and may have a chance of figuring. But it is not impossible that McCarthy will show total faith in his team from Cardiff.