FOOTBALL NEWS

15/12/2009 08:10, Report by Matt Nichols

Irwin's faith in Wolves

Denis Irwin is confident Wolves can avoid the drop this term, but warn they'll find the going tough this evening.

The Reds legend joined tonight's opponents in 2002 and, in his first season at Wolves, guided the Midlands side back to the Premier League. But the following season the team were sent back down and Irwin called time on a glittering career.

Speaking in tonight's matchday programme, the Irishman says the current Wolves side is better equipped to remain in the top flight and cites ex-Red Sylvan Ebanks-Blake as key to their survival hopes.

"When you’re fighting relegation you need somebody who will score at least 10 or 12 goals for you," he said. "Sylvan Ebanks-Blake now has a great opportunity to test himself and in Kevin Doyle they have a striker with experience.

“I definitely think the players Mick McCarthy bought in the summer are of a higher standard than the ones that were at Wolves when I was promoted with them. It won’t be easy but I think they can stay up if they can produce consistent results at home."

Despite Irwin's faith, he knows an away win this evening would be a major shock, even if McCarthy's side are likely to play positive football.

"I don’t think Wolves are the sort of team to set their stall out and play defensively. United are missing a few defenders so they might fancy their chances of nicking a goal through Kevin Doyle and then keeping it tight at the back. The experience of someone like Jody Craddock could also come into play, but it’s going to be tough for them."

You can read the full interview with Denis Irwin in tonight's edition of United Review.

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