Johnson stands up for sacked boss Mccarthy
SKIPPER Roger Johnson insists the Wolves players are to blame for the club’s current plight – not sacked manager Mick Mccarthy.
Mccarthy got the boot after Wolves slipped into the bottom three following Sunday’s 5-1 hammering at home to West Brom.
But, when asked how much blame the players should take for Wolves’ situation, Johnson said: “All of it. The manager can maybe take five to 10 per cent of the blame – the rest of it is down to us. We’ve let Mick down, we’ve let the club down and we’ve let ourselves down.”
Johnson, who was relegated with Birmingham last season before being signed by Mccarthy and given the captain’s armband, believes Wolves have got enough time to turn things around.
“Thankfully we’ve got enough games to get the points that will get us out of trouble,” he said.
“We probably need six wins from 13 games and we have a good enough team to do that.”
Owner Steve Morgan is due back from a family holiday tomorrow to step up the search for Mccarthy’s replacement.
Morgan and chief executive Jez Moxey are hoping to bring in a new man before Wolves take on Newcastle in 11 days.
Former Charlton and West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is bookies’ favourite after indicating he’d be willing to talk to Morgan.
Former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce and EX-QPR boss Neil Warnock are also understood to be interested should Morgan get in touch.
But if they opt for a short-term appointment until the end of the season, Birmingham boss Chris Hughton could become a contender. IBRAHIMOVIC is notoriously poor against English opposition, netting twice in 14 Champions Leagues games.
However, both of those goals did come against the Gunners two seasons ago when he was playing for Barcelona.
Vermaelen was part of that Arsenal defence which shipped two Ibrahimovic goals in 2010 – and if the Swede’s poor record is to continue it will likely be down to the attentions of the giant centre-back.
Ibrahimovic should be well rested having missed Milan’s 2-1 victory over THIAGO SILVA will be the man charged with the near-impossible task of keeping the Premier League’s leading scorer under wraps.
The Brazilian was a permanent fixture in a Milan defence which conceded an average of two goals a game in the Champions League group stages, but his speed and athleticism should ensure Van Persie doesn’t have things all his own way tonight. ARTETA has flourished for the Gunners since his arrival from Everton last August.
His passing accuracy has rarely dipped below 90 per cent, but tonight he comes up against a player whose best asset is the ability to silence dangerous opponents.
Veteran Dutchman Seedorf has been used sparingly by Milan, but the four-time Champions League winner was utilised in four group matches, and his experience will be key to the Rossoneri’s hopes of winning the midfield battle.
THOMAS VERMAELEN v ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC Udinese through suspension and he is in good form with 15 league goals to his name this season. ROBIN VAN PERSIE
v THIAGO SILVA FOCUSED: Thierry Henry isn’t yet thinking about his return to New York
MIKEL ARTETA v CLARENCE SEEDORF
BLAME GAME: Johnson