Big Mick Bigs Up City
Sat 27 Sept 08
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has spoken highly of Bristol City prior to the game whilst Bristol City manager Gary Johnson feels the game will be an open one and promises to play to win.
Speaking to the Express and Star, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy believes fans had better fasten their safety belts for the clash against Bristol City - because the opposition are almost a mirror image of his team.
McCarthy reckons City play the same free-flowing, attacking football which has seen Wolves open up a three-point lead at the top of the table on a wave of goals.
He said: "They`re very similar to us in the way they play, they work very hard which is great. They`re a team set up similar to us - they`re 4-4-2 with out-and-out wingers in Michael McIndoe and Ivan Sproule.
"Marvin Elliott has come back which makes a big difference to them in the middle and whether it`s Lee Johnson or Skuse that plays there I don`t know, but Elliott might be fully fit to play.
"Up front, they have a big `un and little `un in Dele Adebola and Nicky Maynard. Adebola has been a great signing for them and Maynard has all the potential to be a top player.
"I did my pro license with Gary Johnson a couple of years ago and he`s very good and thinks about the game and his teams play good football.
"They`ve got pace in the side in Maynard, Sproule, McIndoe and Adebola holds it up- they work exceptionally hard for each other as well so I guess we`re pretty similar like that.
"They get back behind the ball and if they do break, they have the pace to do it."
Speaking to the Bristol Evening Post GARY Johnson is threatening to meet fire with fire when he sends his Bristol City side out to face Championship form side Wolves tomorrow.
City's manager today refuted any suggestion that he and his players will settle for a point from the 12.30pm kick-off at Molineux.
And he insists fifth-placed City will attempt to take the game to Mick McCarthy's side, who are three points clear at the top after winning six successive games.
'If you offered me a point right now, I wouldn't take it,' declared Johnson.'I've never done that and I'm not going to now. We go into every game trying to win it and Wolves away is no different.'
Unbeaten so far this season, Wolves have made their best start to a season in more than half-a-century, are averaging three goals a game and will be roared on by a near-capacity crowd. But Johnson refuses to be intimidated and is urging his players to adopt a positive mental attitude ahead of what he describes as City's 'toughest game of the season so far.'
He said: Wolves are flying high at the moment and are scoring lots of goals. But unbeaten records are there to be ended and we've gone to top-of-the-table sides before and beaten them.
'We know we can't go there to defend and play for a draw. If we do that, they will break us down sooner or later. You have to have spells where you take the game to the opposition, play it in their half and have a go at them.If we go there and put in a very, very good performance, then we'll be in with a chance.'
City's players have spent time with confidence coach Mark Layder this week and Johnson is encouraging them to make the Molineux atmosphere work in their favour.
He revealed: 'It's something we've spoken about and they have to imagine all that noise is for them.
'The fans will be very partisan and our boys have to feed off that. Teams are going to put you under pressure in the Championship and, when that happens, it's important not to panic.'
Woloverhampton Wanderers Team News:
Wolves are without goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and striker Chris Iwelumo through suspension for the 12.30pm clash but believe that Carl Ikeme and Andy Keogh will povide the necessary cover.
Player to watch: Michael Kightly
Bristol City Team News:
Marvin Elliott proved his return to fitness by inspiring City to a 4-1 win over Doncaster after replacing Bradley Orr at half time.
Orr is expected to retain his place at right-back tomorrow and the manager must decide whether to promote the impressive Elliott to the starting line-up or retain Cole Skuse in the middle of the park.
Although regular first-choice goalkeeper Adriano Basso has recovered from a calf strain and trained yesterday, Chris Weale is expected to be given the nod after impressing last time out.
Brian Wilson will contest a place on the bench after resting his sore shins, but striker Steve Brooker
Player to watch: Michael McIndoe
Match Facts & Stats