McCarthy realistic about upcoming games

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Mick McCarthy admits Wolves will be judged on how they perform in a trio of crunch games in the next month.

Wolves have slipped into the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League after conceding four goals against Arsenal at home and away to Chelsea. But McCarthy knows forthcoming home games against local rivals Birmingham on Sunday, fellow strugglers Bolton and newly-promoted Burnley before Christmas will carry more significance to their chances of staying in the top flight.

He said: "We have to put those games (against Arsenal and Chelsea) to one side. The players kept going and put in a shift as always but we are not judged on these sort of matches"

The former Republic of Ireland manager added: "Chelsea are a top-quality side, arguably the best in the league. They have one or two players who cost what all my squad cost so let's put that into perspective.

"We will be judged on three of the four next games most certainly - and they are the big important games coming up for us."

McCarthy has urged his players to come to terms with being involved in a relegation battle as Wolves look to end a run of seven league games without a win since the 2-1 home triumph over Fulham in mid September.

"You can end up almost with a fear of saying it, not wanting to mention the 'R' (relegation) word," he continued. "I've said 'that's rubbish' because that's what we're fighting against.

"If we're in the bottom two after 13 games, that's where we are, so let's understand it, recognise it and deal with it.

"We haven't played with fear and maybe that's to our credit but we need to get points."

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