McCarthy won't rush quartet
Mick McCarthy will resist the urge to throw his returning stars into Premier League aciton on Sunday.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 24/09/09 1:27pm
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy will resist the urge to throw his returning stars into Premier League action on Sunday.
Michael Kightly, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Kevin Foley and Jody Craddock are all back from recent injury lay-offs, but will not start at Sunderland this weekend.
All four were handed run-outs in Wolves' 1-0 Carling Cup defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday, but are yet to rediscover full match fitness.
With that in mind, McCarthy will not be rushing them back into his plans ahead of schedule.
"They will be in the squad. It's impossible for someone who has been out for six months (Kightly) to play 70 minutes last night and then play 70 minutes on Sunday, at full tilt. It doesn't happen," McCarthy told the Birmingham Mail.
"So the four lads who played last night won't be starting and we'll have fresh legs in the team for Sunday.
"But it's great that they've played."
He added: "We've had Foley, who's been out for a month, and Ebanks-Blake has been out for the guts of that as well.
"Craddock has been out for two to three weeks so maybe that had an effect on us not having that extra bit of zip and pace to run in behind United and open them up when we had the opportunities.
"But at least they have got some minutes under their belts."
The return of Ebanks-Blake will have been welcomed by Wolves supporters, with the club currently short on goals.
Last season's top scorer is expected to provide that cutting edge, alongside Kevin Doyle, but McCarthy insists the 23-year-old must be patient before making his Premier League bow.
"It's not a question of how good he is as a player, it's an understanding of how the system works," he added.