Michael Mancienne joined Wolves as a defender but goes back to Chelsea as a holding midfielder

Mick McCarthy has hailed the impact of Wolves loanee Michael Mancienne as a holding midfielder but insists he will have to be 'top drawer' in the role to get into the Chelsea side.

Mancienne is on loan from Stamford Bridge this season and has switched from centre-back to the middle of the park with good effect in recent months.

He has played a key part in Wolves revival - nine points from the past six games - which has taken them to the verge of Barclays Premier League survival.

Michael Mancienne (left)

On the ball: Michael Mancienne (left) has excelled in the holding midfield role while on loan at Wolves from Chelsea

Wolves boss McCarthy said: 'Michael has been excellent. We know he is a good player. He is a centre-back but, from the moment I asked him to do the midfield role, he said 'I love that.'

'He did it when we won at Tottenham. He is improving. He is a really talented lad.

'The role has evolved. Chelsea had Makelele doing it, who is probably better than anyone. They had Didier Deschamps there at one stage and Mikel does it for them now.

'To get into a team like Chelsea, you've really got to be top drawer doing it. Michael is learning it but he is certainly improving at it.'

McCarthy believes Mancienne's ability to play in more than one position will help him to play regular first-team football.

He said: 'It is great if you have got two strings to your bow.

'If you can play at centre-back, as well as he does, and then just step into midfield, and play as he does, he is always going to get a game somewhere.'


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