Plymouth 1 Wolverhampton 1: McCarthy seeks financial fix in wake of purge

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The Independent Online

Mick McCarthy praised the endeavour of his new charges and declared himself pleased with Wolves' fifth opening-day draw in seven years.

A more telling assessment will be the one he makes in private this week when he meets his chief executive, Jez Moxey, and asks for the funding required to make anything of his first Molineux season.

Wolves have had a turbulent summer, losing a manager, 12 players and a chairman. Now Moxey, returning from a holiday he delayed when Glenn Hoddle resigned, holds the key.

Wolves' board is stressing culture change and the need for youth and hunger. McCarthy has made six signings but they comprise three Premiership cast-offs, a little-known Brazilian who did not make the 16 on Saturday, an ex-Oxford United striker who failed in Italy and a £100,000 buy from Stoke City.

His problem is matching long-term aims with the immediate need to keep heads above water, because early evidence suggests his squad are so short of depth and presence that they might struggle to stay in this division, rather than threaten to climb out of it.

Ian Holloway, also taking control for the first time, had much more, within Plymouth Argyle's familiar budgetary limitations, to be enthusiastic about. His side led through their summer signing Barry Hayles (even if Nick Chadwick might yet claim the last touch) and would comfortably have won a heated contest had Matt Murray not handled brilliantly and made six diving saves.

The former England Under-21 goalkeeper had a foot scan on Friday amid fears of another long lay-off and McCarthy said: "To get the big fella back and see him perform like that was great for us. It was a terrific performance."

Plymouth, who introduced the former Manchester United reserve Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from the bench, cursed their luck when Kevin O'Connor - one of McCarthy's six debutants - benefited from a deflection off Mathias Kouo-Doumbe as his 47th-minute shot looped over Luke McCormick.

As debate raged over who should have the goal, Wolves were less occupied with "whodunnit?" than "who's going to do it?"

Goals: Hayles (35) 1-0; Doumbe (og, 47) 1-1.

Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): McCormick; Connolly, Kouo-Doumbe, Aljofree, Hodges; Norris, Wotton, Nalis (Djordjic, 73), Capaldi; Hayles, Chadwick (Ebanks-Blake, 59). Substitutes not used: Barness, Reid, Summerfield.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Murray; Clyde, Breen (Edwards, h-t), Craddock, Naylor; Ricketts (Gobern, 82), O'Connor, Henry, Clapham; Cort, Bothroyd (Davies, 64). Substitutes not used: Oakes (gk), Frankowski.

Referee: I Williamson (Berkshire).

Booked: Plymouth Chadwick, Connolly, Nalis, Norris. Wolverhampton Clapham, Henry, Edwards.

Man of the match: Murray.

Attendance: 15,964.

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