McCarthy revels in Wolves fightback
Mick McCarthy admits he is glad he has made life more difficult for new Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill after his Wolves side came from behind to win 2-1 at Molineux.
Kieran Richardson looked to have given the perfect tonic to the watching O'Neill, who will officially take charge on Monday, with a stunning opener but then Sebastian Larsson saw a contentious penalty saved by Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey, before two goals in quick succession from Steven Fletcher saw Wolves gain a vital win.
When McCarthy was asked if he had any advice for O'Neill, the former Sunderland boss said: "No, I'm just glad I've made his job harder for on Monday morning. I'm thrilled that's he's got a harder job than it looked like for however many minutes here. Martin is a pal of mine but I didn't want to do him any favours."
Fletcher has now scored 10 times in his last 15 Premier League appearances for Wolves, and McCarthy said: "When he's been fit, he's been terrific. That's why I signed him.
"When he's had injuries, they've been impact injuries, something he can't help. Keep him fit and he's a very good player. When he's been fit, he's been prolific for us."
Replays appeared to show there was minimal - if any - contact from Jody Craddock on Larsson when he went to ground for the penalty.
McCarthy said: "Jody insisted he didn't touch him and apparently he didn't. But, if it was a dive, then they got what they deserved and the penalty save certainly was a catalyst.
"The game turned on its head with that moment."
Blacks Cats caretaker boss Eric Black believes O'Neill will revive Sunderland's fortunes.
He said: "Martin will have seen the strengths that we have. I think he knows there are some good things to take forward. But I think he'll also know that there are some problems. I'm sure he'll start on Tuesday trying to rectify those problems."