27/08/2011 16:05 +0100 – Wolves produced a solid defensive performance on Saturday to earn a goalless draw and take their points tally to seven from the first three games with skipper Roger Johnson outstanding at the back. It is in sharp contrast to the end of last season when Wolves avoided relegation on the final day of the campaign. McCarthy said: "My expectation was above just staying above 18th place. "I thought we could have had 47 points last season. I was thrilled we stayed up but I don't want it to be that way again. "But there are only three games gone, there are 35 still to play so, while we will enjoy the start we've had, I'm hugely wary of what can come. "You can get on a bad run of form and lose four or five games in this league and wonder how they've all gone by." Johnson has quickly slotted into his centre-back role at Molineux after making the move from Birmingham this summer. McCarthy said: "He is one of the best centre-halfs around. I tried to sign him two years ago and we couldn't sign him because we had spent our dough. "I've probably got a better centre-half now. He's had two years practice in the Premier League." McCarthy was content with a point after surviving a Villa onslaught early in the second period. He said: "They were pumped up for 15 minutes in second half and had a really good spell, as much to do with us failing to keep the ball and not passing it to someone in a gold shirt. "But we had a good barrier to block them. There were some good blocks and saves. "Would I take a point at Villa with Bent, Heskey, N'Zogbia and Agbonlahor? Too right I would." Alex McLeish admits Villa are striving hard to improve the supply line to striker Darren Bent. He said: "If they try and force it, and we look for Darren every time for a through ball, then we will lose possession all the time. "Bent is a player who thrives on the right moment and there are some times when I can understand he gets frustrated. "There are times when he has made a run and the player on the ball just doesn't see it. "These are things we've been working on and looking to improve, the service to the front men, and in the second half it was much quicker. We upped the tempo." McLeish has challenged Chris Herd to show he can replace Luke Young following his move to QPR. Herd impressed in the right-back role and got forward to good effect. McLeish said: "Chris had a really good game. He got up the line, had headers at set-pieces and he can look in the mirror and be proud of his performance. "He has given me a problem. That is all I can ask. We are a bit short on experienced players with Luke Young leaving. "That is the only little niggle for me but again it's another great performance from a kid from the academy."