Mick McCarthy & Steve Kean relieved at clubs' escapes

Mick McCarthy said he was "shattered physically and emotionally" after his Wolves team retained their top-flight status despite a final-day defeat.

Wolves survived by a point as losses for Blackpool and Birmingham kept them above the drop zone.

"I went through the wringer," admitted the Wolves manager.

Blackburn's win ensured their own Premier League safety and Rovers boss Steve Kean praised the way his side had "come together" to achieve this.

"We have produced seven positive results from our last nine games," said Kean. "The team have come together as a group really well. We will be a better team and a better club for it."

Blackburn led 3-0 at half time in Sunday's game after goals from Jason Roberts, Brett Emerton and David Hoilett put them firmly in charge at Molineux.

Wolves scored two goals in the last 17 minutes through Jamie O'Hara and Stephen Hunt to lift them out of the relegation zone via goals scored at the expense of Birmingham, who eventually lost 2-1 at Tottenham to join the already-relegated West Ham and Blackpool - who lost 4-2 at Manchester United - in the Championship next season.

It was a dramatic finale to a tense day and McCarthy admitted he was kept on his toes by the continually changing situation.

"We were in it, then we were out of it. We were up and then we were down," said McCarthy.

"I was getting messages every couple of minutes on bits of paper. Some had swear words on, others said happy days.

"I said all along that it would come down to 22 May and it might even be goal difference or goals scored.

"I do not even know the exact outcome now. All I knew at the end of the game was that we had stayed up."

McCarthy's team were in dire straits at half-time but he said a calm and rational approach at the break was important in preparing his team to rally in the second half.

"I did not go in there and get in peoples' faces with a load of expletives," he commented. "They were down and on their knees and they needed some encouragement.

"I told them that it was going down the plug hole and we needed to do everything far better than we had done.

"I told them to go and get a goal. One goal might have been enough to keep us in the league."

McCarthy added: "I feel like I should be dancing up and down with my drawers on my head.

"I can't do that, because I have to stay professional, but that is how I feel."

Blackburn boss Kean was full of praise for his team after Sunday's match.

"The first half was the best 45 minutes of our season," said Kean. "It is just a shame that we left it until the last game.

"We were on the front foot from the start and we never let them settle. We were positive and played with two up, we wanted to attack.

"We had someone on the subs' bench with a laptop keeping us in touch with the other scores. Every five minutes we were getting updates.

"I was fully in touch with things and a few minutes from the end, Mick McCarthy gave me a look to say that is it, we are both safe. I knew we were both OK."

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