There has been understandable dejection in the gold and black corner of the Black Country this week following Wolverhampton Wanderers' disappointment at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

But only at the result, Wolves' worst derby defeat in 25 years, not so much at the performance. And certainly not at the way manager Mick McCarthy has moulded Wolves into a surprise force this season on such a low budget.

Despite Sunday's 3-0 defeat, there is still a mood of optimism at Molineux, and Wolves can feel comforted that they have been found out only by the Championship's top three. They conceded three goals to Preston North End and Albion, and were left bemoaning the contentious circumstances that scarred their luckless 4-0 defeat at leaders Cardiff City.

Although reluctant to put on any pressure on the admirable McCarthy, given the way Glenn Hoddle walked out on Wolves in mid-summer, chief executive Jez Moxey is more than satisfied his team lie sixth in the table and on course for a potential tilt at the play-offs.

"We're thrilled with the appointment of Mick and the impact he's had," said Moxey. "He's really turned things around.

"I remember getting grilled when the previous manager walked out on us.

"But, while we've got rid of a lot of players, we've brought a lot in and we haven't spent a lot of money.

"The team's completely different, playing a completely different style and to be where we are is beyond our expectations."

With Wolves two places, and a point, above Birmingham City and still just three points behind third-placed Albion, already acknowledged as the best team in the division by McCarthy, Moxey suggests that Wolves, Blues and the Baggies all have it in them to make it back to the top flight.

"When Birmingham and West Brom get relegated and joined us back in the Championship that was a disappointment for the area," said Moxey. "But we would certainly like to get back to the Premiership, so would Albion and so would Birmingham and it would be great if all three could make it this season.

"We're three very well-supported teams and we belong there."

*  Former Wolves defender Ady Williams last night took over as caretaker boss of Swindon after the management team of Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet moved to Leeds United.

Williams, 35, only joined the League Two outfit in the summer from Coventry City but has made a huge impact as skipper.

Former Millwall manager David Tuttle, head of youth and scouting director at the Robins, earlier declined to take the role.