City boss hoping for favour from pal McCarthy
David Cuffley City boss Bryan Gunn is confident newly-promoted Wolves will be going 'all guns blazing' at Barnsley tomorrow - when they can clinch the Championship title and have a major influence on the relegation battle at the same time.
City boss Bryan Gunn is confident newly-promoted Wolves will be going “all guns blazing” at Barnsley tomorrow - when they can clinch the Championship title and have a major influence on the relegation battle at the same time.
Mick McCarthy's team can do the Canaries a huge favour if they beat Barnsley at Oakwell, or at least take the point they need to be confirmed as champions.
Gunn has already wished the Wolves boss well as he prepares for Premier League football, but first he is hoping for a helping hand from the men from Molineux.
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“Ian Butterworth and I were at the Derby v Reading game on Tuesday night,” said Gunn. “At half-time we knew that Barnsley were winning 1-0 at Coventry. We bumped into Mick McCarthy as well and congratulated him on his promotion and we wished him all the best on Saturday.”
There is an irony in McCarthy's situation in that success for his team tomorrow could seriously damage his home town club.
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Born in Barnsley, McCarthy spent the first six years of his professional career with the club, making 272 appearances as a centre-half and helping them from the old Division Four to Division Two.
“He's in one of those funny situations that football throws up where he's wanting his team to win the league at the place he played football, his home town team,” said Gunn.
“But I know Mick will want to win the league so I know that Wolves will be going all guns blazing at Oakwell tomorrow.
“He will probably want to do it sooner rather than later and not leave it until the last game of the season.
“From our point of view, we wish him all the best.”
Barnsley are two points ahead of the Canaries, but with an inferior goal difference, so will be desperate to make home advantage count berfore a tricky trip to fellow strugglers Plymouth on the final day of the season.
The 50-year-old McCarthy, who also managed Millwall, took the Republic of Ireland to the World Cup finals and Sunderland into the Premiership, has warned his players there can be no slacking tomorrow after they clinched promotion with a 1-0 home win over Queens Park Rangers.
“I understand it takes some motivation to come in after that because, all bar a 10-goal landslide somewhere, we've won the Championship - even if Birmingham win and we don't,” he said.
“That motivational side of it means the lads had to get themselves going again after a good weekend, which they deserved. But it's back to it now and anyone not pulling their finger out won't play on Saturday. We want to do it right. I'm still at pains to make sure we do things right.
“So I haven't actually thrown my cap up in the air yet and lost it. We've got to keep our professional face. We'll be back at it to try to win the game.”
The Canaries will train tomorrow and Sunday in preparation for Monday night's home game against Reading (7.45pm), but Gunn will also be keeping tabs on their final opponents of the season, Charlton.
“We have a nervy weekend to go through with the matches tomorrow,” he said. “There's nothing we can do about that.
“We will be training tomorrow but there is also the Derby v Charlton game so whether it's me, another member of the coaching staff or chief scout John Deehan, we will certainly watch that game as we play Charlton the following weekend in the final game of the season.
“John watched them against Cardiff on Tuesday night and we'll watch them again carefully with the final game in mind.
“Charlton have had some decent results in the last few weeks and when it comes down to the last game of the season we know they won't be giving away points in front of their own fans. We have to make sure we prepare in the right way and not take anything for granted because we have two massive games coming up.”