Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini labelled the 2-1 defeat at Wolves as their poorest display of the season.
City took the lead with an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty before Wolves hit back through Nenad Milijas and then David Edwards, who scored the winner.
"We only played for the first 25 minutes," said Mancini.
"Then we stopped playing and Wolves deserved to win. It's the worst game we've played. We must regroup and understand why this happened."
It is now two league defeats in two games for title-contenders City following their loss at Arsenal.
Mancini's men are now eight points behind leaders Chelsea who recorded a 2-1 win at Blackburn.
"This was the sort of game you have to win if you want to challenge for the title," added the Italian boss.
"You must play all games at 115%. I must understand very quickly why this happened.
"But the season is long, we started it very well and there is time to recover."
Victory for Wolves was their first in the league since their win against Stoke on the opening day of the season.
But following their good performances in the losses to Chelsea in the league, and Manchester United in the Carling Cup, McCarthy insisted that the win came as little surprise to him.
"That result has been coming for a few weeks - we deserved to win today," he said.
"When you are bottom, but playing well, with a great spirit, it sounds really hollow when you say things like that.
"But this performance and result summed it all up for me.
"Without our team spirit, we would be history. I have been saying that for weeks."
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