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A Cloud Has Lifted


11:00 5th April 2013

The players believe again - Saunders

Wolves manager Dean Saunders believes that a 'cloud has been lifted' after watching his players in training this week.

His side have won their last three nPower Championship fixtures, and have taken thirteen points from their last six matches to boost their chances of avoiding a second successive relegation.

Although keen to acknowledge that the job is far from done, Saunders says that the belief his players have gained from their recent performances - coupled with the fact that they have lifted themselves up the league table - is vital as the season enters its final month.

"I think the players are just delighted that the cloud has been lifted from over the club," Saunders said ahead of tomorrow's trip to Bolton.

"They're all enjoying it - we just have to keep doing what we're doing. We're scoring a lot of goals and playing some good football - we're taking our chances and the confidence is coming back.

"However, somehow, even after this great run, we're still only a point above the relegation zone so we've got to keep going - we're not out of the woods yet."

In particular, Saunders pointed to the two wins in two days his side achieved over the Easter weekend - 3-2 victories at home to Middlesbrough and away at Birmingham City - as potentially vital to his players' mood going into the run-in.

"I had the opportunity to change the team on Monday, and that was a massive dilemma for me," he explained. "We put a lot into the Middlesbrough game, both physically and emotionally, and we went right to the final whistle in that game.

"Then we had to do it again on Monday. A lot of people might have expected some changes and for me to have put some fresh legs in, and I was debating it, but in the end I decided that we had some momentum and I thought that we could produce again.

"Now we've scored three goals in each of our last two games, and a total of eight in our last three, so that will give the players belief that we can score at any time, even if we're not playing so well."

He added: "The players look fitter, stronger, more confident, and there's a belief that we will go out and win on Saturday.

"It's all about belief - everything you do, you're now expecting it to come off. If you make a run, you believe you're making the right run, whereas before they'd have been hesistant. Then, you start expecting to win, expecting to score.

"We've now just got to make sure we get the results we need in the next few games. That would do us a massive favour because we don't want to be going into the final few matches needing to win them."

Next up for Saunders' side is tomorrow's trip to the Reebok Stadium, with the manager expecting a tight contest against a team that Wolves met in the Premier League last season.

"They've won their last six games at home, so they're in really good form," he said. "They've got good players throughout their team - experienced players that have played in the Premier League.

"They've got good players, but they've found it hard at times as well. Sometimes that happens, when players drop down from the Premier League, they find it tough to get their heads around the different type of football and the increased number of fixtures and they're still damaged from the season before."

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