McCarthy has no problems with Hodgson team selection

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has leapt to the defence of Roy Hodgson after the Fulham boss came under fire for fielding a weakened team at Hull last weekend.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has leapt to the defence of Roy Hodgson after the Fulham boss came under fire for fielding a weakened team at Hull last weekend.

The Tigers won 2-0 to boost their battle for Barclays Premier League survival, leaving Hull’s fellow strugglers West Ham furious at Hodgson’s team selection.

McCarthy found himself similarly under attack when he made 10 changes for Wolves’ game at Manchester United in December – a move that led to a censure from the Premier League and a suspended £25,000 fine.

Despite the fact that Wolves are also battling to avoid relegation, McCarthy has revealed he has no issues with what Hodgson did.

He said: “I haven’t got a problem with it. I am not bothered what team they played.

“It is just something that the high and mighty, who tend to look at their own teams, don’t like when it is happening.

“It is about making the most of your squad and utilising your squad to the best of their abilities. That is what I did and that is what Roy did.

“Fulham are still in Europe, so good luck to them. They are probably safe with the points they have got and don’t forget we have still got them to play this season.

“But good luck to Roy and if it means he wins that Europa League then I will be thrilled for him. He has had a great season.

“If they have still got anything to play for when they play us and want to play a weakened team against me I will be delighted.”

A more immediate aim for McCarthy is trying to pull off a shock against Arsenal on Saturday.

Wolves head to the Emirates boosted by an unbeaten four-match run that has seen them collect eight points and move five points clear of the drop zone.

But he knows the trip to north London will test his team’s good form to the limit – especially after the Gunners battled back to earn a 2-2 draw against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

McCarthy added: “It was a fabulous game of football and is something that the rest of us can only aspire to.

“Barcelona were awesome. For the first 20, 25 minutes it was as good a display as I have ever seen and Arsenal got to feel how the rest of us feel. It was good to see.

“If the game has tired them out and it can help us get something then brilliant because we will probably need all the help we can get.

“It is a very difficult game for us, but we are in good form and have played well recently so we will just go down there and take them on and see what happens.

“When we played them at Molineux earlier in the season we were terrific for 30 minutes and should have taken the lead.

“We then conceded an awful goal the way we defended it and we got mullered after that.

“So what we need to do is take that 30 minutes into the game.

“March has been a very good month for us and the eight points we have got have been vital. But we still need more points to stay up.”

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