Wolves manager Mick McCarthy insists his side should not fear their trip to in-form Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

The visit to Villa Park promises to be a testing one for Wolves as Villa are unbeaten in the league in 2010 and are pushing hard for a top-four finish.

But Wolves have won almost as many points, 12, on the road as they have done at home, 15, this season.

McCarthy, who plans to name an unchanged side for the sixth successive game, said: "We play well away from home. Look at how we played at Tottenham, Everton, Wigan and Stoke.

"We have had good performances away from home and that doesn't faze me at all. I don't fear going to Villa or West Ham in the game after that.

"I think with the way we are playing we are capable of getting something anywhere as our away form is pretty good."

But McCarthy does know that Villa will be a tough nut to crack, especially as Wolves will have to find a way past the imposing figure of central defender Richard Dunne.

Since his £5million move from Manchester City last summer, Dunne has helped Villa to develop the meanest defence in the top flight.

McCarthy knows all about him as he gave Dunne his debut for the Republic of Ireland in 2000 - and made an ambitious bid to sign him before he joined Villa.

With Dunne in commanding form and Villa possessing a fearsome arsenal of attacking talent, McCarthy is braced for his side's survival credentials to be tested to the limit.

He added: "Let me tell you, Dunney is fantastic. He is a really, really top-drawer centre-half. Martin O'Neill asked me about him and I said, 'Sign him'.

"When I knew that Dunney was going I rang him up and asked him if he would come to us.

"But I knew there was no chance. He had bigger fish to fry which was fair enough.

"He is a great lad as well. He made his Ireland debut for me in Holland and he has been great.

"Villa have got a really good defence and then they have got Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Gabriel Agbonlahor, John Carew and Emile Heskey.

"They can get goals without even committing loads of bodies forward. They score from free-kicks and corners because they are a big powerful side."

But McCarthy thinks his players can cope as they now know what is required to compete, and survive, in the Premier League.

"I think the players have been terrific," said McCarthy, who will be bidding to guide Wolves to their first win in 16 games over Villa.

He added: "Our players are learning about the league and how to handle it and we have been better for it.

"Hardly any had played in the Premier League before and the games are all really tough. The players get experience and maturity and strength and understanding.

"That is the way it is in the Premier League. They have all improved, every single one of them. The aim is to stay in the league and then everyone who is here will have had one season of Premier League football and be more experienced."

Wolves boosted their survival hopes by beating relegation rivals Burnley last weekend but McCarthy knows there are plenty of twists and turns still to come before their fate is resolved.

While Portsmouth are doomed after going into administration, McCarthy still feels the battle for the other two relegation places is a battle between seven teams.

He said: "What has happened to Portsmouth has killed them, but there is certainly Hull, Burnley, ourselves, Wigan, West Ham, Bolton and Sunderland still in it.

"I am looking at them all and if I can drag another one in over this weekend I will be thrilled.

"We are still in there scrapping and if we all started to think that after beating Burnley we were fine then we would suffer because of it."