McCarthy relishes return to big time

Manager has a point to prove in Premier League as Wolves clinch promotion
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The Independent Online

Mick McCarthy said he still has unfinished business in the Premier League after Wolverhampton Wanderers saw off Queen's Park Rangers 1-0 at Molineux to clinch promotion to the top flight on Saturday.

A proud McCarthy struggled to put Wolves' success into words and said their promotion had still not sunk in – while they are also within touching distance of the Championship title. But having failed to save Sunderland from bottom-of-the-table finishes in 2003 and 2006, he stressed that he has a point to prove among the big boys.

"Of course I do, given a sporting chance," said the Wolves manager. "If I'm given £6m to spend like I was last time, which included transfer fees, wages, signing-on fees and agents' fees then we'll all be in trouble. But of course that won't be the case. Last time I think I had a bit of naivety. We didn't get bashed up, we didn't get a lot of points, but I didn't really get a chance."

The script was written for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to grab the goal that settled matters on an afternoon full of emotion – his 25th of the season, one more than the tally that won him the Championship's golden boot last term.

The industrious Andy Keogh harried Damion Stewart in the penalty area as he looked to shepherd the ball to safety just after the start of the second half. And when he nicked in to grab the ball by the byline, Ebanks-Blake was in space 12 yards out to fire home and send the home crowd wild.

"I'm knackered," McCarthy added afterwards. "I'm beaming on the inside, I'm absolutely thrilled by our achievements. I'm very proud of the players, they've been brilliant."

At the bottom, Charlton were relegated after drawing 2-2 with Blackpool.

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