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Aiming For Home Comforts


10:51 25th January 2013

Boss wary of Blackpool threat

Dean Saunders says he is wary of the threat posed by visitors Blackpool as he prepares for his second home game in charge of Wolves.


After two draws in the opening two matches of Saunders' tenure, Wolves are set to come up against a Blackpool side they beat just over a month ago.


That game sparked a run which has seen the Seasiders take just two points from six games, but was also Wolves’ most recent victory, and Saunders is respectful of the talented squad available to Blackpool caretaker manager Steve Thompson.


"They have got Premier League players and players who are worth a lot of money," Saunders says ahead of Saturday's game. "I think they have turned down big offers for Ince and Phillips who are both very good wingers.


"Delfouneso is a really good player, so are Taylor-Fletcher, Sylvestre, Baptiste - we know what we are up against. They play open, attacking football and score goals which makes them a very dangerous team to play against.


"They have hit a bad run and haven't got a manager - and maybe it is a good time for us to take advantage of that.


“But they are a dangerous team who can score goals.


"We have to be careful and not think we are better than we are and go out with a bit of caution and get three points whatever it takes."


Whilst acknowledging the threat posed by the visitors, Saunders was also able to bring positive news from the Wolves treatment room, with several long-term absentees nearing full fitness.


"It's thinning out in the treatment room already after two weeks," he admits. "Stephen Hunt and Dave Edwards have trained this week, so that's just Razak Boukari, Wayne Hennessey, George Elokobi and Steven Mouyokolo out now.


Saunders concedes he now faces some 'selection dilemmas' in the middle of the park as Dave Edwards and Tongo Doumbia are back in contention, and says that with his squad nearing full strength, a play-off challenge isn't yet out of the question.


He added:  "It's going to be difficult, but if you win four games on the trot,  that would completely change your position, whichever league you're in.


"It's unlikely but it's not impossible that we could challenge for the play-offs.


“If we get a bit of a run of form together, we can do it, but I've also got one eye on making sure we don't go the other way and making sure we get enough points so we're clear of danger."


Wolves currently lie 17th in the Championship table, 13 points off the top six and seven above the drop zone.


"The more likely scenario is we're going to creep up the league," Saunders says.


"It's unlikely we'll do it (make the play-offs), but we're going to have a go at catching those higher in the league.


"That's in my mind, but we just need some positive results quickly so we can put those other concerns to bed.


“If we do that quickly, we'll have enough games to get not that many points."

Whatever the long-term future, for tomorrow Saunders is hoping for a repeat of the commitment and spirit shown in his first home game, the 1-1 draw with Blackburn a fortnight ago.


"I hope we get the same as Blackburn because I thought we played really well," he added.

"We got 31 crosses in and have been averaging nine.

"We didn’t take the chances that can came along and they hardly got into our half in the first half.

"I think we did them on all the stats – running, crosses, shots, final third entries.

"So I thought the players deserved the points.

"If we could reproduce that again on Saturday I’d be happy although of course the main thing is that I’d like three points.

"If we can do that again and play the same way with the same enthusiasm I think the crowd responded to do it."


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