Dean Saunders admits it will take time for Wolves to play at the level and tempo which he demands – but has backed his players and their characters to get the club out of trouble between now and the end of the season.
Wolves head to Millwall tomorrow (7.45pm) still seeking the first win of Saunders’ reign, but he is pleased they are continuing to battle hard as epitomised by Bakary Sako’s injury time equaliser against in-form Watford on Friday night.
The boss knows that wins are now paramount, and has urged his players to show their characters in troubled times to help Wolves survive before he can fully get to grips with his future plans in the summer.
“You could see the confidence in Watford’s players when they were slipping the ball through the middle of the pitch to each other and we were struggling to string those passes together,” said Saunders.
“It is not an easy place to play when you are struggling.
“I played for Galatasaray, Benfica and Liverpool and if you are struggling at any of those clubs it’s the same feeling out on the pitch – nervous and frightened of making a mistake.
“It decides your character when you are struggling and going out to play in front of crowds who expect you to win.
“When you are struggling you find out who the men are – who is prepared to show for the ball and miss a chance and then come back and take another one.
“But I thought the supporters were great during the game on Friday.
“Watford missed two or three chances when they were breaking away but I thought we’d done enough in the whole game to get a draw.”
Saunders has regularly cited the two different tasks on his agenda since taking the helm at Molineux – long-term planning but more pertinently ensuring Wolves remain in the npower Championship this season.
The latter has now taken on more importance than the former given Wolves’ position in the bottom three, but the boss is confident the team will come through the challenge.
He added: “We need a team where all of the players can score from all different angles – centre backs, midfield players – and if you have that you also get a bit of luck.
“I need to do that when recruiting for the future, making sure I get more players who can score goals even though they are not easy to get.
“To play the way I want to play is going to take time.
“To get everyone in that mode of high tempo and getting after people is going to take time because they’ve not been used to it for a while.
“I haven’t got time though and have got to patch things up for now and do what I can.
“I keep going on the radio and speaking to the press and saying I think we could have won and when you are losing people get fed up of it and everything you say is wrong.
“And when we win everything I say will be right.
“I have to take the criticism and I have done that before - we will get through it.”