McCarthy hails Stearman
Mick McCarthy admits the impressive form of Richard Stearman has stopped him recalling Jody Craddock.
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me on Twitter @skysportspeteo
Last Updated: 01/03/11 10:37pm
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy admits the impressive form of Richard Stearman has stopped him recalling Jody Craddock to the team.
Stearman has established himself as a regular in McCarthy's starting XI after forming an impressing central defensive partnership with Christophe Berra.
It means last season's player of the year Craddock has found himself relegated to the bench since recovering from injury and McCarthy is delighted with Stearman's performances.
"Jody is fit but, as much as I would like him in the team, I can't. Richard has been rock-solid," said McCarthy.
"We all knew that 'Stears' could play, could handle the ball well as a player, but we just had to get him to defend.
"It was a case of defend first and all the other stuff comes with it.
"He has concentrated on that side of things, has done that side of things far, far better and he has had a very good season."
McCarthy has also challenged his midfield understudies to profit from the absence of the in-form Tottenham loanee Jamie O'Hara against his parent club in Sunday's home clash.
O'Hara has scored in Wolves' last two games, the 1-1 draw at West Brom and the 4-0 success over Blackpool and McCarthy believes the midfielder's absence gives some of his fringe players the opportunity to impress.
"It's an opportunity for someone to come in. People will know my options," added McCarthy.