Back To Basics
Wolverhampton Wanderers were once again left counting the cost of defensive lapses on Saturday, going down 3-1 to The Blades at Bramall Lane.
Wolves took the lead against the run of play midway through the first half when Stephen Elliott pounced on Stephen Wards parried shot, but a brace from James Beattie and a late Jon Stead strike secured the points for the home side.
"I'm not here to condemn my team because overall we put in a good performance, but we failed to deal with basic things and that's what cost us." Mick McCarthy said after the final whistle.
"Letting the ball bounce in the 18 yard area (for the first goal) is a cardinal sin."
That led to a mix up between Wayne Hennessey and Darren Ward that left the pair on the ground, and gifted James Beattie a headed equalizer following Elliott`s opener
McCarthy's defensive woes continued when Gary Breen found himself tussling with James Beattie in the penalty area, inevitably conceding a spot kick which Beattie clinically dispatched.
Wolves still created enough chances to at least earn a point before Stead applied the coup de grace two minutes into injury time.
Michael Kightly saw his 75th minute free kick cleared off the line, Stephen Ward then hit the bar, and Seyi Olofinjana shot straight at Blades 'keeper Paddy Kenny when he should have done better, leaving McCarthy feeling aggrieved at the final whistle.
"We gifted them three points and that's annoying me considerably," Mick said. "I'm going away having lost 3-1 and thinking that we could have won it."
Wolves retain their top half placing. Just. On goal difference, and now McCarthy has a day to put Saturday`s mistakes right before his team face their next test against Hull City on Tuesday night.
Anything less than a win could see both a gap start to form between Wolves and their promotion rivals, and a descent toward the relegation zone that could see Wolves sink to their lowest league placing since McCarthy took the helm.