Football

Wolves Vs Burnley, Sun 20 Dec 2009

McCarthy set to ring the changes. (©PAphotos)
McCarthy set to ring the changes. (©PAphotos).

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is poised to make more sweeping changes to his side for Sunday's clash with Burnley at Molineux.

McCarthy has been heavily criticised for changing all 10 of the outfield players who started last weekend's 1-0 win at Tottenham for Tuesday's trip to Manchester United.

Nine of those players - Richard Stearman, Jody Craddock, Christophe Berra, Stephen Ward, Karl Henry, Nenad Milijas, Matt Jarvis, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle - are expected to face Burnley.

Midfielder Dave Edwards, who started against Tottenham, suffered ankle ligament damage at White Hart Lane and will be missing for up to 10 weeks.

Kevin Foley, who made only his fourth start of an injury-hit season against United, is set to continue to deputise for Edwards.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has admitted his actions in the last week have turned up the pressure on him ahead of Sunday's game.

McCarthy is well aware that anything but a win against the Clarets will see his team selection at Manchester United in midweek questioned once more.

McCarthy took the decision to change all 10 of the outfield players who started last weekend's 1-0 win at Tottenham to ensure that his key players were fully fit for the game with Burnley.

McCarthy has been both pilloried and lauded for his actions, but he knows the only way he will be vindicated is if Wolves secure the win against Burnley that could move them out of the relegation zone.

He said: "Don't think that I don't understand that it has added a bit more pressure to the game - but that is on me. That is my decision, no one else's."

Wolves will be viewed as favourites for the match as Burnley have picked up just one of their 19 points so far away from home.

But McCarthy is not reading anything into Burnley's dismal record on the road.

He added: "I saw Burnley against Arsenal this week at Turf Moor and they played very well.

"Their home record has been absolutely fabulous too - they've had some great wins - so that shows how tough they will be.

"They can play and they've got good players. No one should be in any doubt about that. They have been really excellent this season.

"It should be a good contest because both teams came out of the Championship, both are learning their trade and there are only three points between us.

"I think we are bound to have fresher legs than Burnley with the lads who didn't play in midweek, and it is up to us to make that count."

Burnley manager Owen Coyle could name an unchanged side.

Long-term absentees Martin Paterson, Chris McCann and Jay Rodriguez remain sidelined through injury.

Coyle is refusing to abandon Burnley's attacking style on the road even though they have picked up only one point from a possible 24.

The Scottish manager believes they can turn some decent performances into good results starting against Wolves.

Burnley go into the game on a high after holding Arsenal to a draw and Coyle said: "I feel we are suited to playing in this division.

"But we have to show that away from home, although I have been pleased with some of our displays.

"The way we play is probably not what people would have envisaged. We tried to go toe-to-toe with Arsenal, who I believe are the best footballing side in the division.

"The players I have are used to passing and moving the ball and I feel we have a duty to our supporters to entertain.

"I try to instil that confidence in players from game to game. I think they have it themselves as well. We have some gifted individuals but our strength is in the group.

"We are not kidding anyone, though. My players are the lowest paid in the Premier League and budget-wise we are a shadow of anyone else. But there is an honesty and a freshness about us."

Coyle believes the widespread criticism of Wolves boss McCarthy is out of order.

Coyle countered: "What I do know is that Wolves have an outstanding manager in Mick McCarthy. He has done a fabulous job.

"Away from football he is a real man's man. I have a lot of time for him as he has helped me.

"For me (the criticism) was way over the top. I think Mick McCarthy does what's best for Wolves.

"You only to have to look at the job he has done at the club to know it is under very good stewardship and in very good hands.

"I think people should look at the big picture and realise what a big part he has played in restoring Wolves to the Premier League."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

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