Wolverhampton Wanderers Vs Manchester City, Mon 28 Dec 2009

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Football News

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy may have to shuffle his pack for Monday's home clash with Manchester City because of the demands of playing with 10 men at Anfield on Boxing Day.

McCarthy will definitely be without defender Stephen Ward, who was sent off in that 2-0 defeat by Liverpool, with McCarthy needing now to assess the rest of his squad following the extra physical demands at Anfield.

Wolves will still have Michael Kightly, David Edwards and Andy Keogh out with ankle injuries.

Wolves face a second tough assignment in three days with McCarthy adamant they have now proved they are no pushovers.

McCarthy witnessed his 10 men make Liverpool fight all the way for their 2-0 victory - a result which left Wolves with three wins and two defeats from their last five Barclays Premier League games.

Steering Wolves to five wins and four draws in their opening 19 games has given McCarthy some satisfaction, even if they are still too near the drop zone for comfort.

"I am happy with our performances so far," he said.

"We are at the halfway stage and we have 19 points - I would have taken that at the beginning of the season.

"And recently, in particular, we have done well.

"It sends out the message to everybody that we are not walkovers in this division.

"We have had some luck, picked up wins and the lads have stuck together. We needed to change a few things and we have done that.

"But in the end it is wins that change situations and perceptions and we have to believe we can do the same against Manchester City."

McCarthy hopes his players can recover quickly from the extra exertion required due to their numerical disadvantage at Anfield.

He said: "We played well, I am proud of them. Liverpool did not make many chances. But at 10 men the game is finished.

"There will be some tired legs now as we prepare to face Manchester City. Ten men against Liverpool at Anfield means a lot more effort from everybody.

"Matt Jarvis was running on empty and Kevin Foley was too - they all put more than a shift in.

"I will have to look at them all to see who can play against City."

Craig Bellamy is set to start his first game under Roberto Mancini as City bid for a third straight win.

Bellamy was introduced off the bench in the victory over Stoke on Boxing Day but, having impressed in his cameo appearance, should keep his place.

Shaun Wright-Phillips has an outside chance of recovering from an ankle injury but Roque Santa Cruz, Benjani and Emmanuel Adebayor, who is leaving for African Nations Cup duty with Togo, are all out.

City winger Martin Petrov is shedding no tears at the controversial departure of Mark Hughes.

Petrov netted for the fourth time this season against Stoke at the end of a turbulent week, the result helped restore a sense of normality to the Blues camp, as well as giving new boss Mancini the perfect start to his tenure.

Indeed, chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak and chief executive Garry Cook must have seen the warm greeting Craig Bellamy gave his new manager at the final whistle and, with the City fans getting behind Mancini from his pre-match entrance, it seemed very much like business as usual.

Out of deference to Mancini, Petrov has no wish to start another argument just yet - but he is not happy.

"Now is not the time to talk about my situation," said the Bulgarian.

"But too many things have happened to me over the last six months and come the time, at some point in the future, I will tell you 100%.

"It would not be good for the new manager if I did it now. But what the old one did with me was not fair.

"I am just a football player. I cannot do anything apart from work hard on the pitch. I just hope after scoring this time I don't go to the bench because that is what seems to have happened every other time this season."

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

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David Edwards
Emmanuel Adebayor
Kevin Foley
Martin Petrov
Manchester City
Mark Hughes
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Roque Santa Cruz
Michael Kightly
Mark Hughes
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Stephen Ward
Shaun Wright-Phillips

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