Stoke bullied Wolves - Mick McCarthy

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy
McCarthy's side face Birmingham next in the Premier League on Sunday

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has warned his side there can be no repeat of their performance in the 3-0 defeat at Stoke if they are to avoid relegation.

The defeat left them in the bottom three, a point shy of safety with four games remaining.

"We're in a scrap for Premier League survival," McCarthy told the BBC.

"But we don't have a chance if we play like that. My teams usually compete better than that. We were bullied and beaten by the better team."

Wolves fell behind to a Kenwyne Jones goal after 16 minutes before Ryan Shawcross doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time.

Jermaine Pennant rounded off the scoring on a comfortable night for the FA Cup finalists with a goal shortly after the interval.

"Whatever shape we play, we generally stop the opposition far, far better than that," McCarthy added. "It's not good enough.

"We've had a dreadful time recently - one point from four games.

"I won't make excuses, I'm just looking about for reasons. Funny to go from the Aston Villa performance [their last league victory] to four performances like that."

Wolves take on fellow relegation strugglers Birmingham on Sunday and McCarthy stated: "I am not going to get wound up and excited about that just now because I am too sad and disappointed about how we played.

"But on Sunday, rest assured we will be a lot better."

Stoke's victory took them to 42 points, which virtually assures them of their Premier League survival.

"It was a big game for us tonight," Stoke boss Tony Pulis reflected.

"The players' attitude and application towards the job was fantastic. The first half was as good as we have played in the Premier League.

"I am delighted with the players. When you think of the win at Wembley, getting the draw at Villa and then doing that to Wolves is something special. That shows the character of the players.

"We hope our status is guaranteed now. To get to a fourth season in the Premier League and reach the FA Cup final is quite a remarkable journey.

"This club and this team is a lot better than the team that came in. We have gradually improved."

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