Belfast Telegraph

McCarthy stands up for Henry

Mick McCarthy has hailed the importance of fans' target Karl Henry to Wolves and insisted he will be the first name on the team-sheet for Sunday's derby at West Brom.

Former Wolves skipper Henry suffered a mixture of sarcastic cheers and boos when he was substituted during the 2-0 home defeat against Newcastle a fortnight ago. Fellow midfielder Jamie O'Hara and skipper Roger Johnson have been amongst the players who have voiced their backing for Henry after that reception.

McCarthy confirmed: "It's Karl Henry and 10 others will be playing for Wolves on Sunday, don't worry about that. I don't have to come out giving my bubbling support and condemn other people for getting at him."

He added: "My support is for a guy who's been here for five years and everything that's been good about my tenure here, he's been part of it - and he will continue to be so. It was good that his team-mates supported him and so they should. I'm glad they did. But my support is that he's in the team tomorrow."

McCarthy is quick to recognise the contribution of Henry during his five years at the club.

He said: "Karl is really is terrific at what he does. He doesn't go past people or scores goals. But it strikes me that, if you go through all the top teams, there's someone who's a solid, consistent, seven-out-of-10 performer that lets everyone else do their little bit of jiggery pokery on the ball.

"If there's one who's always been a constant presence and is consistent in my five years here, it's Karl Henry."

McCarthy believes Henry deserves the respect of the fans although understandably he is reluctant to attack them publicly when their support is needed.

He said: "I don't get wrapped up in that to be quite honest. I think any player that plays for any club, who gives their heart and soul like he does, should always be respected. I thought there was almost instantly a backlash of boos after what happened and I think that was directed at the people cheering (sarcastically).

"I think there was an element of support there from people who thought 'hold on a minute, that's wrong' to do that to Karl. They weren't booing Karl, I think they were booing the (sarcastic) cheers, so there's an understanding from supporters as well. They might as well understand that he's got my unequivocal support."

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