Wolves’ FA Cup flops will not be allowed to forget their dismal display at Crystal Palace in a hurry.
Boss Mick McCarthy is set to conduct a lengthy post-mortem after his side, on the back of encouraging Barclays Premier League draws against Liverpool and Hull, crashed to a 3-1 defeat in the fourth-round replay at Selhurst Park.
Their embarrassment was heightened by the fact that Danny Butterfield, a right-back who had scored one goal in the last six years, grabbed a memorable quickfire hat-trick for the Coca-Cola Championship side.
McCarthy had one eye on Sunday’s meeting with Birmingham, making five changes to his starting line-up, but still had plenty of regular top-flight performers on show.
Karl Henry pulled a last-minute goal back but it was no consolation for McCarthy.
“I didn’t see that coming after the last two games,” he said. “We’ll analyse it, have a look at it and see what we can do with the Birmingham game in mind.
“I had my pound of flesh in the dressing room and I’ll have another pound when we get back in training on Thursday, and we’ll sort it out between us.”
Butterfield’s perfect treble – header, left foot, right foot – took barely six minutes and was the fastest hat-trick in Palace’s history.
The club’s longest-serving player, 30, is only operating in attack after cash-strapped Palace were forced to sell teenage star Victor Moses on deadline day having plunged into administration last week.
“I’m normally a one goal every four seasons man, so three in one night is unbelievable,” he said.
“I think I was a day too late, I could have perhaps gone for £4m or £5m on Monday!”
Palace’s players were only paid a couple of hours before kick-off, and an estimated £400,000 windfall from the fifth-round visit of Aston Villa should ensure they get February’s wages on time.
Eagles skipper Shaun Derry said: “It’s been well documented what has happened in the last two or three weeks, culminating in a bad week for us last week with administration.
“But there is some spirit in this team. We can look back on this result in a few years as a great victory.”
The financial worries do not faze manager Neil Warnock either, despite him again being unable to name a full substitutes’ bench.
“I’ve had to bite my tongue at times, which is hard for me,” he admitted.
“But at the end of the day I’m a football manager and I have to try to get the best out of what I have got. I’m enjoying it and I’m revelling in it.
“We’ve got a day against Villa and it’s a great opportunity for us.”