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Boss's Tribute To Fans


11:30 3rd May 2013

Saunders asks for vocal backing at Brighton

Dean Saunders is calling on Wolves' travelling fans to continue what he describes as their 'brilliant' support of his team as they prepare for the final game of the campaign.

Wolves face a tough task to avoid relegation at Brighton on Saturday, but the manager told the media this week that belief and positivity are vital if they are to make the most of the glimmer of hope that still exists.

2,000 Wolves supporters will make the journey to the South coast, and Saunders took the opportunity to thank the fans for their support over the second half of what has been a difficult campaign.

"The fans have been really good," he says. "I thought they were brilliant last weekend. They've always been passionate and they've got behind us - that's all I can ask.

"It's a proud club, a great club, and we shouldn't be in this position, so I can't blame the fans for being frustrated, fed-up or depressed.

"The club has lost 80-odd games in the last four seasons. That's 80-odd bad Saturday nights, 80 bad Sundays, so their frustrations have been building up over a number of seasons."

Saunders also spoke of his emotions at the way his first season at Molineux has unfolded, saying that he shares in the fans' disappointments.

"I've got some pride, and my pride has been smashed," he says of his tenure so far. "I feel terrible because I care. I care about every training session, about everything that goes on in the building.

"I walk through the door in the morning and I care about everything that's going on. So I'm distraught, really, but we've now got one chance to possibly save ourselves and we have to take it."

The boss also gave an update on his squad's injury woes - several first team players have fallen victim to serious injuries in recent weeks, including Player of the Season Bakary Sako.

The winger was introduced as a substitute in the late stages of last Saturday's defeat to Burnley and looked to have come through his first appearance in six weeks without harm, but Saunders says he is unsure whether to risk him again at Brighton.

"Sako is touch and go for Brighton," he explains. "We brought him back from a hamstring injury which was a risk, and he can still feel something in his hamstring this week."

Saturday will also see a return to Brighton for the manager, who spent two years at the old Goldstone Ground at the beginning of his playing career.

The Welshman played over 70 games for the Seagulls, with his prolific scoring rate earning him a move to a then-top flight Oxford United.

He says: "I still know a few people there. They have done brilliantly since I was playing for them at the Goldstone Ground. The new stadium is magnificent - I haven't been there yet but it looks fantastic on TV.

"I've never been back since I left the club - I've been to Brighton but never to a football match there, so I'm looking forward to it."

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