Newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers may be assured of top-flight football for next season but manager Mick McCarthy insists there will be no let-up as his side strives to win the Coca-Cola Championship title.
If the amiable Yorkshireman’s emotions have not had enough of a wringing of late, he will follow up the incredible highs of securing promotion last week with a trip down memory lane.
McCarthy takes his side to his home town of Barnsley where they will look to follow up the success of last week’s 1-0 victory over Queen’s Park Rangers by trying to snatch another win.
One point will secure Wolves the title and their first bit of silverware under the former Ireland international boss.
McCarthy is not expecting any favours from his boyhood stomping ground with the Tykes desperately needing points themselves to try to stave off relegation.
He said: “It’s a good thing for us that there’s something riding on the game. I’m glad really that there’s something riding on it because we need to get something from it to ensure we win the title.”
He realises there is always the danger of a hangover after last week’s incredible scenes at Molineux when a Sylvan Ebanks-Blake goal gave Wolves the win they needed to secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
He admits Tuesday’s first training session back was pretty unimpressive.
“I said to the lads on Tuesday, ‘you’ve got to keep that professional outlook – for both games we have left,” he said.
“There’s the win bonus, if that’s what floats your boat – of winning the title and we’ve got to get out there and make sure it happens. I don’t want anyone saying we’ve taken our foot off the gas, or we’ve slackened off. I don’t want anything souring it at all by us not doing it right.”
Wolves will take an impressive 6,000-strong travelling army to Oakwell and McCarthy believes the fans can again play their part.
He said: “It’s fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing all those fans behind the goal. It will be brilliant. But there won’t be any show for them because it will be a bloody hard game.”
McCarthy expects no favours from Barnsley. He said: “We’ve never had any grace or favours from Barnsley at all, that’s for sure. In fact, we’ve had an absolute doing on both occasions – a 1-0 doing.”
While he knows the Tykes will be right at it on the pitch, he says he always gets a warm welcome from the town whenever he returns.
“There’s a huge difference between not getting any special treatment and stick,” he said. “I’ve never ever had any stick at Barnsley. If I go back and I’m not taking a team back there, I get a fabulous welcome.”