Mick’s view: We have to play at that high tempo

Mick McCarthy talked at length on todays press conference about our prolific midfielder star Nenad Milijas and about the importance for Wolves of a high tempo and to take the lead in the matches.

Nenad was excellent against Bolton – he put a shift in by winning headers and tackles and he was on the front foot from the start.. That then reflected in his all-round game – he wasn’t playing from a negative position, he was playing on the front foot and if you’re going around tackling, heading and competing, things happen for you. All the players must play like that for us – we’re not good enough not to. We can’t afford to carry anyone. It has to be a team effort.

I was asked after the Bolton game about it being a brave decision to put him in when we needed scrappers, but you’ve got to be have who can play football. Don’t for one minute think I only appreciate fighters because I don’t, I appreciate good footballers. But they have to have that characteristic of wanting to compete. Nenad convinced me he was right when I bought him, but he still had to convince me he was worth a place in the team.

About the importance of high tempo

It shouldn’t be any different for him now playing away to Tottenham and Manchester United than playing at home to Bolton. We have to play at that high tempo – we’re not one of the top-six teams who can stroll around, poke it around the back four and roll the ball to each other’s feet – we just can’t. But then neither do Birmingham or Burnley – that’s not the way we can play. We’ve got to play at a high tempo and close teams down. It’s like Gary Megson said, they expected it, but they couldn’t really stop it.

About the importance of taking the lead in matches

Have a look at the Premier League and see how many teams come from behind to win a game. Last season, the statistics were incredible – not many teams at all won after recovering from coming behind, and few even get a draw. Look at it the other way – we took the lead against Wigan, Fulham and Bolton and won and took the lead against Everton and drew, so we haven’t lost after taking the lead. Then when the opposition has gone in front first, they have won every time apart from Hull, Villa and Stoke when we managed to draw.

About the Tottenham team

Tottenham have been terrific this season and against Everton on Sunday they were outstanding for 65 minutes then they let it slip. They’ve got some outstanding players and it would be difficult to find too many better attacking forces in the Premier League than them. Defoe is on fire at the moment, he’s flying and he’s one of the top strikers in the league. He always has been to be honest, I’ve always thought he was one of the top players because he’s a real handful.

If you play and attack like they do then you will leave holes at the back, so then it’s whether you can exploit them or not. Stoke beat them at White Hart Lane but they got absolutely mullered. James Beattie hooked one off the line from under the bar and so did someone else. That result struck me as a real travesty, but they beat them and that’s what it says in the record books.


~ by paddytheflea on December 10, 2009.

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