Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy insists his players can make no excuses if they are relegated from the Premier League in May.
A slip in form in recent weeks has seen Wolves leak 11 goals in their past four games and McCarthy wants to take positive action to avoid the drop.
The first step towards survival would be victory at local rivals Birmingham City on Sunday.
“I am always looking for the reasons why, I never come up with excuses,” McCarthy said on Friday.
“You can look at the Newcastle game after we had had all the players away, we had two-week breaks between games, we got done by two wonder goals against Everton – unstoppable – having played well for 20 minutes.”
“You can look at the fragile nature of the team that’s in the bottom three when things start going against them.”
“So I can look for all those reasons, and I guess there are loads of them.”
“But we’re not looking at excuses; we’ve just got to play better on Sunday and in the last four games than we have in our last four.”
“There’s no act from me around the place and what you see is what you get.”
“We’d like to be in 10th spot and safe and not have any worries.”
“We’re not in a good position but we’re in good shape as a team and as a group of people and spirited and confident we can still do it.”
Birmingham were beaten 5-0 at Liverpool last weekend but McCarthy knows they will be keen to bounce back.
“It is three points up for grabs,” he said.
“Whatever game it might be we are going to have to try to get something.”
“It is difficult as it is away from home and Birmingham are a tough side who are good at home.”
“But it is a local derby and form maybe goes out the window.”
“As for who has the best form, us or Birmingham? I am not quite sure but it does go out the window so let’s see what happens.”
Wolves will be without defenders Ronald Zubar (back) and George Elokobi (hamstring) plus forwards Konan Doyle (knee) and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake (hamstring).
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