McCarthy demands reaction to Cup exit

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The Independent Football

Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, has called for a backlash from his players in tomorrow's local derby at Birmingham City.

McCarthy was left fuming following Wolves' dismal FA Cup display at Crystal Palace on Tuesday when they were beaten 3-1 at Selhurst Park.

With Wanderers only above the Premier League relegation zone on games, McCarthy has made it clear he does not expect to see a repeat of that kind of display when they face Birmingham.

McCarthy, who is set to recall Kevin Doyle, Matt Jarvis, Stephen Ward and Marcus Hahnemann to the side humbled at Palace, said: "We just didn't play well. It is the worst we have played in the three-and-a-half years I have been here.

"I never saw it coming but I am not going to dwell on it any longer. We have had a good response in training but the response I am requiring is on Sunday. There is only one good thing to come out of the Palace game and that is that we can't play worse than that and we have to play better.

"It is perfect motivation for a local derby and we have played well in the Premiership. We have put in some really good performances and I would envisage another good one on Sunday.''

McCarthy knows it will be a stern test against an in-form Birmingham and he added: "They came to Molineux in November and beat us deservedly. They are having a fabulous season.

"At the moment they have got the balance right. They are hard to beat and if you remain like that and stay in games they are always likely to nick a goal because they have got some good players. The important thing for us to stay in games and not be 1-0 down and chasing it.

"Against Palace, there were question marks about the team's desire and guts, yet three days before we fought back at Hull to get a point and showed what the team and club is about, and I am sure we will do it again on Sunday."