Mick’s cup loses cheer

WITH his game-plan reduced to tatters within 90 seconds and his players adding next to nothing for the rest of the afternoon Mick McCarthy still put on a performance — the one he always plays — as a Yorkshire curmudgeon.

On a day when Liverpool had been humbled at Anfield by his home-town club Barnsley, the ex-Republic boss was still in no mood to be fanciful.

Surely a non-Premier League name would soon be engraved on the famous trophy for the first time in nearly three decades?

“No,” was his blunt response. “There will be a chance but ultimately whoever they come up against will be one of the big teams. Good luck to whoever does but I don’t think they’ll win it.”

Poor starts are Wolves’ speciality and this was no exception. Kevin Foley’s panic seconds from kick-off gave the impression he was attacking his own goal and, although a genuine forward move did develop, when Glenn Loovens dispossessed Andy Keogh in the Cardiff half Wolves were seconds from conceding.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink flicked on Stephen McPhail’s pass to put Peter Whittingham clear and though he had nearly half the pitch to cover, he arrived with enough composure to beat Wayne Hennessey in the Wolves goal. Hennessey had no chance with goal number two in the 11th minute as Hasselbaink swivelled to fire a left -footer into the top corner.

Wolves could muster just two on- target shots in reply and neither beat City goalkeeper Peter Enckelman.

CARDIFF (4-5-1): Enckelman 7, McNaughton 7, Johnson 6, Loovens 8, Capaldi 7, Ramsey 8, Rae 6, McPhail 7 (Sinclair 90, 5), Whittingham 8 (Blake 90, 5), Parry 7, Hasselbaink 8 (Thompson 76, 6).

Subs Not Used: Oakes, Purse.

WOLVES (4-3-3): Hennessey 6, Foley 6 (Gibson 63, 5), Breen 6, Craddock 6, Gray 6, Olofinjana 5 (Eastwood 40, 7) Potter 6, Henry 6, Keogh 7, Bothroyd 6, Kyle 5 (Elliott 63, 6).

Subs Not Used: Stack, Edwards.

REFEREE: Rob Styles (Hampshire) 6: Booked a few, including Bothroyd for handball and Thompson for a late tackle but the game was never over-heated

MATCH RATING: *** Wolves never turned up so a bright start from the home side turned out to be all that was required.

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