Wolves appoint Mick McCarthy assistant Terry Connor as manager

 

Wolves owner Steve Morgan has challenged caretaker boss Terry Connor to stake a claim for the job on a permanent basis after being appointed for the remainder of the season.

Connor will be in charge for the final 13 matches - starting with tomorrow's encounter at Newcastle - and given the task of keeping second from bottom Wolves in the Barclays Premier League.

The midlands club have come in for criticism after failing to land an established manager as the sacked Mick McCarthy's replacement.

But Morgan has faith in Connor, who has been at Molineux for 13 years, to plug the gap left by McCarthy after his contract was terminated 11 days ago.

He said: "We believe we have made the right decision. Certainly the players' reaction has been incredibly good and we look forward to Terry taking the club from now until the end of the season.

"We have seen a number of people, we have narrowed it down and it became clear with the way the players were responding to Terry that he was the right person to take us forward.

"At the moment it's an interim appointment but he's got a chance to stake a claim. We've got 13 cup finals left. We're actually fed up of relegation battles but that's what we've got on our hands now."

Wolves were linked with a number of names including Alan Curbishley, Steve Bruce, Brian McDermott, Dave Jones, Gus Poyet and Walter Smith before turning to Connor.

Morgan insists all interviews were carried out in a confidential manner and is upset that some candidates leaked their interest to the media.

He said: "If you appoint someone as senior as the manager of a football club, you go out and look at options. We have never once broken a confidence of all the people we have spoken to.

"Other people have unfortunately done that. I can't control what other people do. I can only behave professionally and this club can only professionally handle things from our side.

"I have nothing to be embarrassed about, this club has nothing to be embarrassed about, in fact this club has got everything to be proud of.

"We have done nothing wrong, but one or two other people may have leaked things."

Meanwhile, Connor has promised a positive response from the "hurting" Wolves players at Newcastle tomorrow as they look to bounce back from the hammering by local rivals West Brom.

The Baggies' 5-1 win at Molineux 12 days ago signalled the end of McCarthy's reign.

He admits it was a difficult time initially to pick the players up after McCarthy's departure but is adamant they will be in the right frame of mind in the battle for Barclays Premier League survival.

Connor said: "I saw a downturn amongst the lads when Mick initially left for two or three days.

"I'm sure some of the players will have regrets about results and Mick losing his job.

"But they are the most honest bunch of lads you would wish to meet. If they've made mistakes, they've made honest mistakes.

"By the end of last week I saw signs of an upturn. They then had a few days off to reflect on things, came back in on Monday and were more like their usual selves."

Former Leeds, Portsmouth and Brighton striker Connor is relishing the challenge confronting him and his players against Alan Pardew's side.

He said: "I'm looking forward to it. There will be 52,000 people there. Everyone thinks we are going up there to be slaughtered.

"But we will be up there giving a good account of ourselves, that's for sure.

"I'm asked how do we bounce back from West Brom. I don't know if Sir Alex Ferguson was asked that question after Manchester United lost 6-1 at home to Manchester City.

"But it is the same, you get the group of players back on the training pitch, you start rebuilding confidence and belief in each other.

"You put them out there on a Saturday and it only takes one thing, maybe one tackle, one clearance, one header, to spark everything back off.

"The lads were hurting after 5-1 at home to your local rivals and they will be wanting to turn that around and give a good account of themselves.

"People bounce back and that is what we are aiming to do."

PA

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