When you're as hungry for a win as Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters are and you also believe in the concepts of bogey teams and fate, it will surely have to be seen as a comforting sign when the Norwich City team coach rolls up at Molineux today.

Wolves fans still have unhappy memories of an April Sunday in 2002 when Malcy Mackay climbed above an over-confident Paul Butler at the far post to head the third of the Canaries' three second-half goals which effectively settled their play-off semi-final victory over Dave Jones' faltering side.

But in the seven games played between the two games since it has been a much happier Wolves story.

Wolves have won six of them, one of them admittedly a 1-0 mugging on a filthy night at Carrow Road last February when Matt Murray had a blinder.

The only one they haven't won out of the seven was last December at Molineux, when they were held to a 2-2 draw.

And even that one was made to seem like a win, thanks to the timing and quality of Jody Craddock's last-minute equaliser.

Hero he might have been that afternoon, Craddock's progress since has been somewhat bizarre.

Thanks to an Achilles injury he picked up in that same game, Craddock was not to appear in the Wolves first team again for another two months.

Although he was a fixture again by the end of the campaign, he has again disappeared from view this season.

But after spending the first month of a scheduled three-month loan at Stoke City, Craddock was suddenly recalled this week in an attempt by McCarthy to halt the worrying number of defensive errors that have contributed to Wolves' wobbly start to the season.

"I decided to bring Jody back to shake things up a up a bit and boost competition for places," said McCarthy. "Jody's a good player and, if we can do better by bringing him back, then why not?

"I made the decision to send him out on loan but it wasn't just about packing Jody off to Stoke.

"Having played the amount of games he did last season, he wouldn't want to have been playing reserve team football. And, because he's been playing at Stoke, he's come back fully match fit and ready to go."

Only this week, Craddock had still been privately doubting whether he would ever wear the old gold shirt again. Instead his return has at least avoided any unwanted appearance in a football quiz asking 'Who was the last footballer to score his team's goal of the season and then get transferred two days later?'

That happened after Craddock's stunner to beat Bradford City in the Carling Cup in mid-August, three days after which the former Sunderland defender found himself lining up in a red and white striped shirt once more for Stoke City.

At least Craddock's return (five goals last season, most of them spectacular and two in his last two appearances at Molineux) might give Wolves the chance to boost their goals for column.

Three of their seven league goals scored so far came in the space of one afternoon at Hillsborough a month ago. Two more were virtuoso efforts from Freddy Eastwood to turn round a deficit against Blackpool the following weekend, which remains Wolves' last win.

Hampered by injuries, McCarthy's other new frontline summer signing Stephen Elliott has scored just once, the opener at Bramall Lane last week prior to the penalty decision which wrecked Wolves' afternoon.

Apart from a calf strain that has made Stephen Ward an injury doubt today, McCarthy's main concern is how to get both him and the equally goalshy Andy Keogh scoring again.