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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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McCarthy fine with weakened team

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy says that he will have "no axe to grind" if Manchester United field a weakened team against Blackpool on the final day of the Premier League season.

• Premier League hit Blackpool with fine

McCarthy's side were handed a suspended fine after fielding a much-changed side at Old Trafford last season, while Blackpool were fined this year for doing the same away to Aston Villa. United can seal the title against Blackburn this weekend and Sir Alex Ferguson has joked that, with a Champions League final to prepare for, he could play himself on the final day, despite the implications in the relegation battle.

However, MCarthy has no problems with United fielding a weakened team, as he believes them to have the quality to win at home regardless.

"I'm not bothered. I can't do anything about it. United beat Schalke in the Champions League with a weakened team. They slapped four past them," he said. "I don't know if Manchester United have got a weak team to be honest. It doesn't bother me.

"I doubt very much Alex will want to lose any games at home. Sorry, what a stupid statement. I know he won't want to lose any games at home. They are unbeaten and he won't want that to change. He will, I am sure, play a team that will win the game.

"I can't do anything about it. If anyone is thinking I've got an axe to grind about it, no, I haven't. I've no axe to grind. You pick your team as you seem fit."

McCarthy wants his side to focus on the fact that they will be safe if they get positive results against Sunderland and Blackburn in their final two matches.

He said: "We need to win our games, we need to get our points, and if we get our points, there is nobody or nothing that can do anything about it. Let me concentrate on that and not be worried what Wigan, West Ham, Birmingham and all the others are doing.

"If we get our points, they can do just as they please and it's not going to bother me one iota. I'm not going to stick my nose in anyone else's business because if ever they stick it in mine they generally get a short sharp one in return."

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