WOLVERHAMPTON, December 21 – Wolverhampton Wanderers climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 2-0 win at home to Burnley here on Sunday that helped manager Mick McCarthy justify his selection policy.Goals from Nenad Milijas and Kevin Doyle helped guide Wolves to a fifth league win of the season as the Midlands club finished a controversial week in fine style by moving up six places in the table.
McCarthy had been widely criticised for his line-up during a 3-0 away defeat by champions Manchester United on Tuesday.
At Old Trafford, McCarthy changed all 10 outfield players from the side that beat Tottenham the previous weekend, with American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann the only survivor.
But McCarthy looked to have been proved right, in his own terms, after this result although the manager said it was the "trust" shown in him by his players that had been the most pleasing aspect of the week’s events.
"Did the win justify my midweek team selection? I’m not looking for it at all, justification or vindication," McCarthy said.
"I have to be able to manage the club, manage the players, maximise my resources, pick teams and be trusted with it by everyone concerned.
"The day I’m not trusted is the day I get out of the door, isn’t it? So I have to be allowed to do that.
"We’ve had nine points out of 12 since the Birmingham game and people who were here when we played Birmingham would never have thought that.
"It is about all the games, not just about today."
McCarthy added: "The nice part was the players believed in me and trusted me and let me get on with it.
"They were 100 percent behind the decisions I made and they played well today and won the game.
"It is all about results. People’s opinions of my decisions, I’m not bothered with. We’ve got 19 points and it is a lot better feeling than it was two weeks ago."
Defeat means Burnley have gone seven games without a win and have collected just a single point from nine away matches.
"It is very obvious that we have lost two terrible goals," said Clarets manager Owen Coyle.
"For the first one, there were three or four individual mistakes.
"At this level you must defend well and, at the other end, if you get chances you must take them. We didn’t do both of those things well enough today and we have paid a heavy price."
Milijas put Wolves in front in the 15th minute.
The hard-working Doyle dispossessed Clark Carlisle and set up Matt Jarvis, whose shot was parried by Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen, but Milijas reacted quickest and sidefooted in on the follow-up.
Doyle, Wolves’ record signing at 6.5 million pounds, doubled the hosts’ lead in the 50th minute when, after Jody Craddock floated a long ball forward, he held off the challenge of Steven Caldwell and fired past Jensen.