Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Wednesday March 21 2007
Thanks to a well timed International break, Wolves have a two week break in which to lick their wounds, steel themselves and prepare for their most important games of the season.
The promotion picture as a whole is still lacking the detail usually found this time of year.
The Championship Title race is still wide open, and the race for the play offs is by no means decided going into the final lap.
Wolves last seven hurdles contain more than a few water jumps that could yet see them sitting at home watching others compete for a £60 million windfall.
With matches against promotion chasers Birmingham, Sunderland and first Southampton, and also ties with relegation threatened Hull and QPR, the fixture list has hardly been kind to them.
Indeed, of the seven teams left to face, Wolves have only taken 3 points off Queens Park Rangers, drawing to Sunderland, Birmingham and Palace, whilst losing to Southampton, Hull and Leicester City.
But McCarthy's current team is full of fighters, and a much different entity to the one that faced those most of those sides earlier in the season.
It is interesting to note that the only win recorded against the outstanding seven coincided with the arrival of winger Michael Kightly.
Along with Stephen Ward and Andy Keogh, the presence of Kightly has transformed Wolves stuttering season of rebuilding and made them a team others have once more started to fear.
Wolves have lost only three league matches since the arrival of Kightly, and only once, last Tuesday since the addition of Keogh and Ward, and won seven out of 10 league fixtures.
Only Roy Keane's high flying Sunderland can match that kind of form.
Add Darren Potter now being played in a central role, Neill Collins so solid in defence, Michael McIndoe, Kightly's wing partner and Karl Henry, currently injured, but outstanding as a makeshift right back and you have seven magnificent signings whose reputations at Molineux could all be made over the next seven games.
With the oft mentioned cliche one game at a time ringing in their ears, McCarthy's men take on George Burley's Southampton next, with a win opening up a nine point lead over the Saints.
If Wolves can overcome their coastal rivals, and Sunderland slip up against Dave Jones Cardiff City that same weekend, there could be as little as a single point between the two sides when they meet the following Saturday at the Stadium Of Light.
Such is the importance of taking all three points off out of sorts Southampton, currently sitting in eighth place in the league.
Seven games, 21 points to play for and a place in Wolverhampton Wanderers folklore awaits McCarthy's team of over achievers if they can rise to the challenge of the remaining few games.
Should they achieve the impossible dream, and propel Wolves back to Premiership status the place of the magnificent seven in Wolves history will be assured, and a script not even Akira Kurosawa could have written completed.
Date:Wednesday March 21 2007
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