Mick McCarthy loving pressure

The manager is composed ahead of the Wolves' must-win clash with Blackburn Rovers at Molineux on Sunday which would ensure they stay in the Premier League.

Mick McCarthy, the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager, says, despite the pressure of relegation from the Premier League, he would not swap his job for anything else.
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Mick McCarthy insists he is thriving on the pressure of battling for Premier League survival ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers' must-win clash with Blackburn Rovers at Molineux tomorrow.

McCarthy's side - and their opponents - are currently one point above the drop zone as the season reaches its finale.

But either of them could be overhauled by Birmingham City, who travel to Tottenham Hotspur, Blackpool, who face a daunting task of turning over champions Manchester United at Old Trafford, and Wigan Athletic, who face Stoke City, if results go against them.

McCarthy said: "Am I enjoying it? I am enjoying it all. What is the alternative - go and play golf?

"It is an absolutely fabulous job despite all the pressures and attention I get. I don't want to do anything else - I love it."

McCarthy is also adamant that he will have no problem with the side United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will select for their home clash with Blackpool.

Ferguson has indicated he will not be fielding his strongest line-up ahead of the Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley Stadium next Saturday.

Although Dimitar Berbatov will be given the chance to add to his 21 league goals as he aims to finish the season with the Golden Boot, McCarthy believes Ferguson will send out a team with a winning mentality no matter who is in the starting XI.

"It doesn't interest me. I maintain that we are entitled to pick the team we should pick," said McCarthy. "I trust Sir Alex and his integrity and winning mentality to do the right thing. I haven't got a problem."

McCarthy believes it helps Wolves' cause they will be facing a side in Rovers who will also have something to play for.

"It probably helps that it makes them as nervous as we will be," he said. "I am never quite sure whether it is a good thing or a bad thing when you go into a game against a team that is relaxed and nothing to lose."

Kevin Doyle, the Wolves striker, is battling to be fit after aggravating his knee problem at the Stadium Of Light in last week's win against Sunderland.

Meanwhile Steve Kean, the Blackburn manager, has said the word "relegation" was never mentioned at a meeting with the club's Indian owners earlier this week.

Kean flew to India to meet the Venkys family and said the focus was completely on Rovers' future in the Premier League.

"We never spoke about that at all, we spoke about me being charge of the club for the remainder of my contract and beyond," said Kean. "We spoke about the budget, what we'll be looking to do with the scouting team, what type of players we will be looking to bring in."

Kean added that Blackburn's current form meant they were itching to play the match against Wolves in the hope of securing a 10th-successive season in England's top flight.

"Wolves have been quite animated - it's 'Beat Blackburn Weekend', it's 'Survival Sunday' down there - but we want to view it as 'Success Sunday' because we are in good form."

Chris Samba, Junior Hoilett and Jermaine Jones have given Kean a boost by shaking off injury niggles while he believes defender Gael Givet will not be distracted by an investigation into his transfer two years ago by the English Football Association

"He's put all that to one side and he's now in a very, very good place and I don't see that now as a distraction," added Kean.

Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, expects nerves to affect his relegation-threatened side heading into their decisive final game but is convinced they can be overcome.

Wigan travel to the Britannia Stadium to face beaten FA Cup finalists Stoke needing a win and other results to go their way if they are to beat the drop. But Martinez says his players will be buoyed by their stunning fightback against West Ham United last weekend, when they turned around a 2-0 half-time deficit to emerge 3-2 winners.

"Before the game against West Ham we had it [nerves] clearly," said the Spaniard. "Our league was over, we had played 36 games. We had to learn a lot from that period and now we were facing two finals.

"We have gone through the first final and now there is the other half to go."

Wigan's cause will be aided by the news that Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, is sweating on the fitness of Matthew Etherington (hamstring), Jermaine Pennant (ankle) and Robert Huth (knee), who all missed Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Manchester City.