Wolves’ Michael Gray believes his side are the finished article in front of goal but says there is work to do in defence if Mick McCarthy’s men are to guarantee promotion.

 Gray is one of Wolves more experienced players and says the club has to tighten defensively to be certain of going up this time around.

 Gray saw his side defeat Cardiff 2-1 at Ninian Park at the weekend but they allowed the Bluebirds back in to give themselves a nervy finish.

 The 34-year-old defender said: “We have to start shutting up shop, even if it is an ugly 0-0 draw. Because we have got players who will always create chances, whether they score or not is another matter, but we will always make them. We are exciting going forward and have some talented players who know where the back of the net is. If we can keep it tight at the back and start getting back to clean sheets we’ll be doing it right.”

 Scottish international Chris Iwelumo and England Under-21 star Sylvan Ebanks-Blake were on the scoresheet at the weekend.

 Gray added: “Two clean sheets is not enough and we have to get that nastiness back. We have a very young team, with 20- and 21-year-olds, and the manager puts them on the pitch because they are good enough to play. The league table does not lie and we are there on merit but if you keep conceding you find ourselves slipping down the table.

 We have been working hard on how to shut people out.”

 Gray kept his place after recent good form but believes there is no harm if players have to drop into the reserves as he has before cementing his place in defence.

 He said: “A lot of people I have spoken to don’t really like playing in those games. But for them just to play in a match situation is good. It takes you away from the norm of training and you need it to get your positioning right because that sort of thing can quickly go. I enjoy it. Sometimes you get a bit frustrated but you have to realise that you were young once.You get out of it what you put into it.”

n?Watford chairman Graham Simpson admitted the decision to bring Adrian Boothroyd’s tenure to an end was taken “with some sadness”.

The Hornets slumped to 21st in the Coca-Cola Championship on Saturday after a dismal 4-3 defeat at home to Blackpool which proved the final straw for Boothroyd.

The 37-year-old admitted afterwards he had ‘never been so irritated’ and after picking up just 15 points from 15 matches paid the price with his job.

In a statement Simpson said: “It is with some sadness we have taken this decision, along with Aidy, the time is right for a new manager to take Watford Football Club forward.

“Both parties feel his tenure at the club is simply at an end and, following discussions, we have mutually decided that a parting of the ways is in the best interests of all concerned.”

Boothroyd was a surprise choice when he took over in March 2005 but guided them into the Barclays Premier League 14 months later after a play-off final win over Leeds.