McCarthy has faith in Ebanks-Blake

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Mick McCarthy is backing Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to put a below-par first season of Barclays Premier League football behind him during the forthcoming campaign.

Ebanks-Blake played a major role in Wolves gaining promotion from the Coca Cola Championship with 25 goals during the 2008-2009 campaign but the former Plymouth player struggled to make an impact last season.

However, the former Republic of Ireland boss said: "Sylvan has come back this summer looking very sharp and very fit."

Ebanks-Blake had only a bit-part role once McCarthy decided to operate with record signing Kevin Doyle as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation during the second half of the campaign.

Now competition for places has further intensified with the capture of Burnley striker Steven Fletcher for around £6 million this summer.

But McCarthy has seen encouraging signs from Ebanks-Blake during Wolves pre-season programme which has produced a string of victories.

McCarthy said: "He's working hard at it and he knows that, by his own standards, last season was a poor one."

"He looks like he wants to rectify that, which is great for me.

"It means we've got great competition in there and it's a nice problem for me to have."

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

Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

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