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PUBLISHED

10:00 29th March 2013

Saunders urges squad to 'refocus'

Wolves manager Dean Saunders has urged his squad to refocus on their battle for survival after the enforced two-week break.

Saunders' side were last in action a fortnight ago, with a number of the squad leaving for international duty immediately after the 2-1 victory over Bristol City at Molineux.

With his squad now reunited ahead of the home clash with Middlesbrough, the boss is determined that his team build on the momentum gathered from two wins from the last three league fixtures.

"They came back yesterday and we had a meeting straight away to get everyone's mind back on Wolves and our situation," the manager explained.

"I've been in that position myself - you go away on international duty and your mind has been pointed somewhere else, so I have pointed it back, and made sure that they are focused on the two massive games we've got coming up.

"I'm looking forward to these two matches (Middlesbrough and Birmingham away, on Easter Monday), and if we can win them both we'd put ourselves in a great position."

Jack Robinson played - and scored his first goal - for the England under 21s, while Christophe Berra, Matt Doherty and Kaspars Gorkss were also away with their respective national squads.

Kevin Doyle was called up for the second of the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifiers after Robbie Keane sustained an injury, but the Wolves man was an unused substitute as Giovanni Trapattoni's side were held to a draw by Austria in midweek.

Despite that disappointment though, Saunders believes that the striker should still be in good spirits following his winner against Bristol City - his first goal since December.

"I know how he feels. I went eleven games without scoring once - when I was about twelve!" the manager joked. "It's a great relief for him though.

"Once you get one, the weight is off your back and you can go out relaxed. When you're not scoring, you're thinking about it and your team-mates are thinking about it, so let's hope he can go on a run now.

"The important thing is that he's getting himself in the six-yard box, where the ball is and where he should be," he continued.

"He seems fine after coming back from international duty, but to be honest, I'm only concerned with what he does for Wolves, and he's back in training and focused again now."

Saunders had words of praise for his entire squad after taking training this week, and he is confident that the team spirit and cohesion are beginning to shine through as the campaign enters its crucial final phase.

He explained: "They've all trained really well considering the conditions this week, we've been out and worked on our plans for Saturday and we'll make sure that we're all singing from the same hymn sheet again.

"It does take time, as a manager, to get your own message across, but now the last few results show the players that what we're trying to do is right, and the formula we're using is beginning to work.

"I'm going to keep the picture of all the team celebrating with the fans after the winner against Bristol City - it shows a great spirit which maybe has been a bit fractured in the past, what with different managers and such things.

"They know they've all got their place in the team, in the dressing room. They know what they're here for and they know what to do to get picked, and to stay in the team."



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