Wolves acting skipper Stephen Ward admits the negative atmosphere in and around Molineux is understandable given the team's poor home form this season.

A section of supporters staged a demonstration after the recent 5-1 home reversal by West Brom which led to manager Mick McCarthy being sacked.

There were similar scenes after the weekend setback against Blackburn when club owner Steve Morgan was involved in exchanges with fans and midfielder Jamie O'Hara was confronted by some supporters.

Defender Ward, filling in as captain for the axed Roger Johnson, said: "The atmosphere is not easy. The lads said after the Blackburn game that it is not the best atmosphere to play in.

"Of course you can hear it but we've not given the supporters much to cheer about this year.

"We've not given ourselves anything to shout about so it's going to be like that every time we come here."

But Ward is adamant the players cannot use the negative vibes as an excuse for their performances as they prepare for Sunday's home encounter with Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United.

He said: "It doesn't help but we've got to be big enough and strong enough to get by that.

"We are professional footballers, it's our job and whether things are going right or wrong, we've got to be big enough and strong enough to take the bull by the horns and play our own game."