Duo back to bolster Wolves

Posted Saturday, August 29, 2009 by PA

Wolves are set to be boosted by the return of full-back Stephen Ward and the versatile Greg Halford for the Barclays Premier League clash against Hull.

Ward (knee) and Halford (calf) were injured at Manchester City last weekend but should be available.

While they bid to return, the comeback hopes of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hang in the balance.

The striker, who damaged his hamstring in the opening game of the season against West Ham, made a low-key return to training this week but looks unlikely to be risked.

However, right-back Kevin Foley is still sidelined by a medial knee ligament injury.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has admitted their Premier League destiny is ultimately going to be decided at Molineux.

Ahead of the Hull game, McCarthy is making it clear his players have to cash in on their home games this season to ensure they retain their top-flight status.

McCarthy said: "We have got to try and make home advantage pay because it will be important this season.

"I would think that if you look at the Premier League as a whole, then home results are considerably better across the board than away results."

While not wanting to give Hull boss Phil Brown any ammunition with which to inspire his side, McCarthy has admitted this is the kind of game Wolves have to target as being winnable.

"We have a better chance of beating these teams than if we were playing Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea," said McCarthy.

"We should have a better chance than against the big six or eight teams at the top.

"But there certainly won't be any humdrum fixtures because you have to eke some points out of all of them."

Brown is set to recall a host of first team players for the trip after making 11 changes to the side for the Carling Cup win over Southend on Tuesday.

Paul McShane is unlikely to be fit enough to make his debut for the club even if his move from Sunderland is tied up in time.

Record signing Jimmy Bullard is still sidelined, as is club captain Ian Ashbee, Dean Marney and Richard Garcia.

Ahead of the game ,Brown has admitted he thinks McCarthy has done well to rebuild his reputation after a dreadful 2005-06 season at Sunderland where they finished bottom of the Premier League with just 15 points garnered all season.

"Mick has done a tremendous job at Wolves, having picked himself up and dusted himself down after the Sunderland affair," Brown said.

"He's gone into Molineux and last season was a tremendous year for him. And he's started this year in good form - he's got that first win which is all important away at Wigan, which was no easy feat.

"We know what we've got to do. I remember going there a couple of years back in the Championship and it's never an easy place to go, and they're on the up."


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