McCARTHY DEFENDS TEAM SELECTION

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy has denied speculation that the number of changes that were carried out in his team was responsible for the 3-0 loss against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Ahead of the crucial match against Chelsea, Mick McCarthy made four changes to the team.

Chelsea were coming into the match on a poor run of form and Wolves could have easily taken advantage of it. However, they were extremely poor in the first half, as Chelsea raced to a 3-0 advantage in the first half. Even though Wolves put up a great fight in the second half and restricted Chelsea from scoring further, it proved to be a chance lost for Mick McCarthy more than anything else.

Apart from the win over Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea have been suffering defeats in a number of matches in recent weeks. Wolverhampton Wanderers could have easily added even more misery for new manager Andre Villas-Boas, but didn't try to press the Blues.

Manager Mick McCarthy has said that the changes are not to blame for the loss against Chelsea. After the match, he said “There has been some disruption to the team with the four changes but that’s not the reason we lost. We’ll never really know what effect it had because we conceded after just seven minutes – we never really even got started. Unfortunately, it ripped the heart and soul out of a team finding it tough.”

After seeing his side struggle in the match, McCarthy switched the formation to a conventional 4-4-2. It proved to be the masterstroke in the second half, as Chelsea could not find a way past Wolves. In fact, Wolves came very close to scoring themselves had it not been for the excellent goalkeeping from Petr Cech.

Training Academy gets Green Light

Wolverhampton Wanderer's future plans received a boost when their planning application for a brand new state-of-the-art training academy was approved by the local council. Whilst there is still a long way to go before the next generation of Wolves players are using the academy, it represents a significant step forwards for the Premier League club.

The club has come up with a novel approach of getting the academy passed, with some fantastic community facilities being built and given to the council to help make the construction work for everyone.

Wolves intend to buy up the grounds of a local school. They will be building a new school on land adjacent to the premises, as well as 55 new homes. The rest of the land will be cleared for football pitches, a medical centre, a full-size indoor pitch, and the clubs offices.

There has been some local resistance to the plans, with campaigners citing the effect on local wildlife as their main concern, but the project should go ahead now that the council have passed it.

CEO Jez Moxley hoped they would be able to work out the various differences with the local community. “We will continue to listen and work with members of the local community as we move our plans forwards over the coming months. Assuming we receive the final approvals to proceed, work on site will start with the construction of the new St Edmund’s Catholic School in April next year.”

Wolves win over West Brom

Wolves made it 11 points from 6 West Midlands derbies this season and took a giant step towards Premier League survival at Molineux on Sunday. There have not been many sweeter days for Wolves fans in recent years than to beat their biggest rivals in such an important game. And they now probably need to win one of their last two games to secure another season of top flight football.

It was a susrprise team selection from McCarthy with Foley restored to right back, Guedioura on the right of midfield and Hunt on the left with the likes of Ebanks Blake and Jarvis on the bench. But the selection was completely vindicated in the first 40 minutes as Wolves totally dominated play and surged into a two goal lead. They were ahead after 15 minutes. Carson pushed a O’Hara free kick round the post and from the resulting Hunt corner the ball fell to Guedioura and then rebounded to Fletcher who swept the ball home. And the same players were involved after 28 minutes when another Hunt corner was headed back across the area by Fletcher and Gurdioura turned it in.

Ward headed inches wide from a O’Hara cross but Albion were edging back into it late in the half and Odemwingie went close with a cross shot. And Albion looked to have an extra fizz about them at the start of the 2nd half but from Wolves first move into their opponents half they were gifted a third. Foley’s through ball was missed by Meite which left Fletcher with just Carson to beat and he made no mistake. And there was almost a 4th as Guedioura’s shot was deflected just wide.

But Albion had a step back into the game when Guedioura felled Thomas and Odemwingie converted the penalty. And Wolves fans were getting nervous as Thomas hit the bar and then an unmarked Tchoyi headed wide from a good chance. But Wolves weathered the storm and Ward and sub Ebanks Blake both went close late on.

Fans Parliament: Standing

"Persistent standing in the Jack Harris Stand is still a problem," he said.

"We've tried everything, including writing to fans about the pressure we're under from the local authority. However, we're now at the stage where the local authority are on the cusp of enforcing a reduction in capacity, a minimum of 500 seats."

Wolves Chief Executive Jez Moxey followed up with a serious warning: "This is going to be a huge problem for those fans affected but no-one is going to be able to say: 'It's not fair, you didn't tell us.' Many clubs have forced reductions - now it is about to come to the Jack Harris Stand unless something is done quickly. It's now up to the fans themselves to decide, there's nothing more we can do.

"We're one of 92 professional clubs and we aren't going to be able to change Government policy or that of the football licensing authority on the issue of safe standing. It's not that we don't want to fight - we will continue to make strong representation at the Safety Advisory Group - but Wolves won't be able to stop reductions in capacity if they are imposed. The precedent has been set elsewhere.

"We're one of 92 professional clubs and we aren't going to be able to change Government policy or that of the football licensing authority on the issue of safe standing. It's not that we're being weak or don't want to fight but Wolves won't be able to stop reductions in capacity if they are imposed. The precedent has been set elsewhere. "

"The Club's message to our fans in the Jack Harris is that this is the last chance. Whilst Wolves will continue to speak with the Local Authority and the Safety Advisory Group, the solution lies with the spectators themselves.

"Persistent standing has to stop from this point onwards."

Fans Parliament: Cup Tickets

Gerry Collins raised what he called 'an old chestnut' by saying he was unhappy to be charged a £1.50 booking fee per ticket when buying cup seats on his credit card - especially as he bought a season ticket every year and then committed to extra matches as well through the cup scheme.

"There are three of us, so that's £4.50 and it rankles," he said. Lynne O'Reardon replied: "We're actually doing three transactions for you, not one. We still have a very transparent booking policy, which is £1.50 per ticket. The technology wouldn't support anything else. And the fee goes towards servicing our ticketing operation, whether that's on technology or paying the people in the department." Jez pointed out that booking fees were commonplace and said it was a policy which had been discussed many times. John Maslen-Jones said he used to be in the cup-tie scheme but now avoided the fee by going to Molineux to buy cup tickets.

Adam Bate said he knew someone who had paid £58 for two adult tickets and one for a child for the recent FA Cup tie against Stoke. It was pointed out that this was higher than for the replay against Doncaster, so Jez pointed out: "We thought the pricing for a Premier League side on a Sunday (rather than a Tuesday night) was the right one. But it was concerning that we didn't have a good attendance." Lynne said visiting clubs were looking to maximise profits from cup-ties and they had to agree to pricing levels.

Lynne wondered whether Wolves should publicise a table of preferred pricing levels at the start of a season. Then, if the actual prices differentiated from that, fans would realise it was at the away clubs' insistence. "It would make it clear what we wanted to charge for the Carling Cup and FA Cup and it's an idea we're discussing," she said. Jez added: "There's an enormous amount of pressure in the club to strike the right balance of special offers. Wolves 4 Family Football,

for example, is all about attracting young fans, so they catch the bug. Over 20,000 people have come here through W4FF and benefitted at just ten quid a time."

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