Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Sunday February 25 2007
Mick McCarthy's nose for a bargain has once again turned into the sweet smell of success.
Denied the astronomical budgets of his predecessors, McCarthy is proving, that it doesn't take a million pounds to find a talent, if you know what you're looking for.
At £25,000 Michael Kightly may be the cheapest of the lot, but his goal yesterday was as valuable as any scored this season, securing Wolves fourth straight win, a feat not achieved by a Wolves side since 2002.
And he isn't a fluke, by any stretch of the imagination.
A quick scan of the current squad throws out a string of shrewd deals that has enabled McCarthy to exceed all expectations, and have his side genuinely considered play off, if not promotion candidates.
Four back to back wins have coincided with the introduction of Neill Collins at the heart of defence, a snip at £150,000.
Karl Henry, deputising as captain, and currently filling the right back spot with aplomb a mere £100,000
Darren Potter, man of the match against Leeds, £250,000, Stephen Ward whose 3 goals have helped land 7 of the last 13 points, £150,000, and Michael MCIndoe, another £250,000 bargain.
Amongst that list, Andy Keogh's £600,000 from Scunthorpe looks like a kings ransom.
£1.5 million spent, a sum previous manager frequently splashed out on one man to secure 6 signings who have all had a massive impact since arriving at the club.
Of course no one gets it right all the time. There are still question marks over Jay Bothroyd, albeit over attitude rather than ability.
Jemal Johnson failed to live up to his potential, but this isn't the first club he has played for that can say that.
And Craig Davies has still to convince that he can compete for a place in Mick McCarthy's long term plans.
But it could be argued that the trio's failure to make an impact at Molineux lies more at their feet than the managers.
If Wolves season DOES end up being one ending on euphoric celebration, it will be a monumental team effort all round.
But when the pundits start looking for reasons to Wolves remarkable about turn in fortunes, they will to a man point the finger at Mick McCarthy's ability to buy diamonds on a costume jewellery budget, and then set them in old gold without breaking the bank.
Date:Sunday February 25 2007
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