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Boss Wants Second Half Improvement

PUBLISHED

11:30 31st January 2013

Saunders believes confidence is the key

Dean Saunders has spoken of his desire to end the second-half fade outs that have blighted Wolves so far this season, and cost them points against Blackpool at the weekend.
A solid first half display on Saturday was marred by a second 45 minutes in which Wolves failed to hit their stride, and saw Tom Ince's long-range effort win the game for the visitors.
It was a pattern which was all too common under previous incumbent Stale Solbakken, and Saunders says that instilling added belief and confidence in his players will result  in a more complete 90 minute performance, starting with tonight's trip to Leicester City.
"When you're not winning games, players lose confidence," he explains. "When we played Blackburn, there was probably only me and Brian Carey in the whole stadium who thought we were going to win, because that's the way you feel when you've been on a winning run.
"When you're on a losing run, you wonder where the next goal is coming from, where the next performance is coming from, you worry that we're not playing very well and the players don't feel sharp."
Saunders adds: "When you're on a winning run, even if you go a goal behind, you get the feeling that you know you're going to score and win.
"That momentum never happened in the last 15 minutes (against Blackpool) - there wasn't that belief that we could actually get a goal back and draw 2-2."
However, the manager believes that there are positives to be taken from the first half showing - during which Sylvan Ebanks-Blake headed Wolves into a 16th minute lead - ahead of tonight's meeting with high-flying Leicester.
"I'd rather look at the positives from Saturday - the first half performance was the best we've had since I've been here," Saunders continues.
"I don't get too carried away when we lose and I don't get too carried away when we win. We'll still watch the DVD when we've won because things will have still gone wrong."
A further setback followed Ince's winner on Saturday - the injury-time dismissal of Roger Johnson. After an appeal to get the centre-half's red card overturned failed, the former Birmingham man will now be unavailable for selection for the next three fixtures.
Saunders does have options in his absence however, including Danny Batth, who is awaiting his first league start of the season. 
"I like him - his heart is in the right place, he's brave," Saunders says of the 22 year-old, who spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
"He's desperate to play and he's got exactly the right temperament. He wants to win - that's the biggest thing. Lads who are happy to just pick up their wages and go home are no good."
Saunders says he has been given assurances over the youngster's ability from Batth's former defensive partner Rob Jones, who left Hillsborough to join up with Saunders at Doncaster Rovers.
"Danny played 40-odd games for Sheffield Wednesday last season alongside Rob and they won automatic promotion. They're two big, strong centre-backs and Rob speaks highly of him.
"I've watched him in training and I think he's going to be a good player," Saunders continues, adding that he will have no issues with starting with Batth against Leicester's in-form forward line.
"Sometimes these things are meant to happen - someone gets suspended or injured and young players get a chance and take it. I wouldn't hesistate to put him in, but I'll see how I feel."  

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