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Boss Devastated

PUBLISHED

20:45 27th April 2013

Saunders acknowledges fans' frustrations

Dean Saunders tonight admitted he was “devastated” at Wolves’ defeat to Burnley, which left the club on the brink of relegation to League One.

The boss highlighted more defensive errors as the reason behind the 2-1 defeat, which, coupled with wins for Barnsley and Peterborough, leaves Wolves needing to win at Brighton along with defeats for the other two not to mention a sizeable swing in goal difference with Posh.

Speaking before Peterborough’s evening victory against Sheffield Wednesday, Saunders said:  “I’m devastated that we didn’t get the right result.

“We should never have been in the position we are in – even without today’s game we have got ourselves into a terrible position.

Obviously everybody is gutted.

“Both Barnsley and Peterborough have got to lose next week, so it's not a good situation.

“We missed chance after chance after chance.

“We didn't play great, but everyone's nervous, and it's difficult to play silky football when you're as anxious as you are.

"We conceded two terrible goals - one from a throw in and one from a corner again.

“If you concede those goals you can't win anything - you can't have a successful team if that keeps happening.

“I spend hours and hours on it - to the point of boredom, and then we concede goals like that today.

"The first goal is a throw in and he gets a bit of luck when it goes through Kaspars' legs, then the second one is second phase from a corner - Paterson gets the ball before us.

“Football is about anticipation - the higher the level you play at, the quicker you need to anticipate, all over the pitch, and we haven't done that well enough today.”

There were angry scenes at full time as fans invaded the pitch and, while the manager didn’t see what happened after the game, he acknowledged justifiable frustrations from those in the stands.

And he has vowed to improve the team’s fortunes by continuing to try and avert a downward spiral which could now lead to successive relegations.

I didn’t see everything that happened at the end,” he said.

“I came off the pitch and was trying to pick my chin up off the floor.

"The players found it hard to speak in the dressing room after the result - there wasn't a lot said.

“But everybody takes the blame for this situation.

“If you are in charge of any company or any business you get the blame.

“As manager I am in the position where if I do get results I will get criticised and I have to take it on the chin.

“The team has lost 80-odd games in the last few years and so the fans have not had many good Sundays.

“They are really, really frustrated and I don’t blame them.

“Whatever happens to us now I am 100 per cent confident that I can give them some happy Sundays.

“I have got to sort the club out from top to bottom, whatever happens, and change the mentality.

“I need to get the mentality right in the club and to do that you have to sign a certain type of player to play for a big club.

“I will just get my head down, work my hardest and when I get up in the morning I can look in the mirror and know I’m giving it my best.”

Saunders continued:  “What has happened here has happened to other teams and big teams as well.

“What happens normally is you have a couple of bad years, a losing mentality sets in, a change of manager, you lose your best players out of a team that got relegated like Fletcher and Jarvis.

“The players still here are disappointed no one has come in and taken them and players have to get their heads around going down a league.

“A new manager comes in and there is uncertainty all around and you can’t get the team to gel.

“Before you know it you are in the Championship and can’t win a game.

“Then you’re playing for a big club in front of a lot of supporters and you’ve got to hold your nerve and get results.

“I have been in situations like this before.

“I walked into a mess at Doncaster where the team hadn’t won for six months and they’ve won the league today and got back up.

“They cleared the decks, went from a massive budget to a tiny one, and have got back up to the Championship.

“Whatever happens to us I have got to sort the club out.”

The amount of points Wolves have amassed would often have been enough to beat the drop in recent seasons, and key injuries in recent weeks have also played their part, especially to main goal threats such as top scorer Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Player of the Season Bakary Sako.

But Saunders is not looking to make excuses, and has vowed to carry on fighting for the club.

"I've tried different things, I've juggled things around and we had got the team winning,” he added.

“Even before today, we were something like third in the form table - we've just got injuries at the wrong time.

“I know it sounds like we're making excuses, but it's a fact.

"If we had Sylvan Ebanks-Blake on the pitch today - we made so many chances, but we didn't have enough players on the pitch with a goal record.

“We haven't got enough players in our starting XI who have a history of scoring goals, and that's what's cost us, that and not defending well in key games.

“To be honest with you, I've done enough talking - we've not produced the result we needed, either this week or last week, and things have conspired against us.

“Fifty one points is usually enough, and we've had a run that should have been good enough to get us away from that danger zone, and it's just been amazing how teams have just kept winning and winning.

“It's been an uncanny league.

"I'm really disappointed, but you've got to pick yourself up. I've had loads of punches on the chin - loads of them - and you have to come back fighting.”

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