Dean Saunders has urged his players to go to every length to win as he looked for a return to the sort of mentality which has previously seen Wolves enjoy success.
After a sustained spell where winning matches has become the exception rather than the norm, the confidence levels among the Wolves squad has dipped and contributed to the team currently sitting just outside the bottom three in the npower Championship.
The manager has set about ensuring the players adhere to the highest standards possible in training and away from the pitch so that they leave nothing to chance when it really matters, starting with this afternoon's visit of Leeds (3pm).
He said: “People say everyone is a winner, but what lengths will you go to, to win?
“Look at Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah. I think, looking at them, that they’ve gone to every length to make sure they’ve done everything they can to win.
“I think they’ve been totally focused on their training, what they’re eating, probably getting weighed every day, probably weighing the food they eat, going out on the track and making sure they’re in on their times, training as hard as they can, and thinking if they’re not training as hard as they can then the people they’re running against are, which drives you on.
“It’s a case of ‘if I don’t do this, then the people running against me are going to be fitter’.
“Everyone wants to win but what are you prepared to do to make sure you give yourself the best chance of winning?
“When I played I used to be in bed at 9pm on a Thursday night.
“I had the same food every Thursday, my wife would keep out of my way on a Friday, and if the children woke up on a Friday night, she had to get up, and I slept in a different room.
“I ate the same food every Saturday morning and I was focused.
“It doesn’t mean you’re going to play well, but over a period of years, you’re giving yourself the best chance of doing well.
“It doesn’t guarantee it, but some people think they’re winners, but maybe don’t go about it in the right way.
“Are they practising? I did – I practised every day at every club I played for and I try to tell that to the players.
“You don’t just strike a ball like David Beckham does without practising and being as consistent as him.”
Saunders is also well versed in the ups-and-downs of life as a manager after previous spells with Wrexham and Doncaster.
“If we lose I don’t sleep; I go home and I can’t get my head around it,” he says.
“But the next morning I’m normally up off the floor again, but it takes me that long.
“You have to be like that – you must walk through all the punches and the disappointments as a manager.
“You have to take criticism on board but walk through it.
“I know what I’m doing, I know what I’ve got in front of me, I know what the plan is, and we’re going to get some slaps along the way.
“I’m not going to change this team into a promotion-winning one all of a sudden.”
And Saunders has re-iterated it remains a work in progress as he aims to cut out some of the teething problems from his first month at the helm.
“I spent half an hour with the players in the week going through the two goals we conceded at Leicester,” he says.
“That will stop us losing in the future.
“Sometimes defeats make you stronger because when you’re winning, you sometimes brush things under the carpet.
“Sometimes you win and don’t deserve to, but when you’ve lost, you go over things which then don’t happen for the next six games, and you win games further down the line because you’ve gone over it and put things right.
“I’ve gone over the defending we produced for those counter attacks and that’s what makes you stronger.
“I’d like to think that those two situations won’t happen today because people are communicating with each other and moving people across the pitch when we’re attacking.”