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Carry on Cassidy

PUBLISHED

15:05 14th January 2013

Saunders praise for young striker

As Dean Saunders took his place in the Wolves dugout for his first game in charge, Friday night's clash with Blackburn Rovers also saw another Welsh striker make his Molineux bow.
Under-21 international Jake Cassidy started the game up front with Kevin Doyle, after being handed his debut as a substitute by Stale Solbakken in the FA Cup defeat at Luton Town the previous weekend.
He played 79 minutes against Blackburn before being replaced by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, and Saunders says he has seen enough of the forward to convince him he has a big future at Molineux.
"I've seen him playing for Tranmere and he's been a big part of their success," Saunders says. "He's fit and he's been scoring goals. I trained with him for three days last week and he's got a hammer in both feet when he strikes the ball.
"He can score from anywhere. He stays out practising his finishing and you can see him scoring all types of goals."
The manager continues: "He's strong - he reminds me a little bit of Alan Shearer in that when he's got his kit on, he looks bigger than he is in real life.
"He's a big strong lad, he's mobile and he gets all types of goals - headers, strikes from the edge of the box and he's a good volleyer of the ball - he's nearly as good as me!"
Saunders is also confident he can pass on his experience to the 19 year-old, and is eager for him to make the most of his Molineux opportunity.
"I've lifted the bar up for him," he says. "I'm 48 but I can still kick a ball properly and show them techniques. I said to them out there, 'can you believe we're getting paid to do this?'
"We're kicking a ball into a net, we've got three goalkeepers, a lovely training pitch, brand new balls - I'd got a brand new pair of boots on, and we're getting paid.
"I said 'how can you get a better job than this?! You've got to appreciate this because you could be stuck in an office now with no window'."
The squad inherited from the Solbakken regime includes just four strikers, with Cassidy and Doyle starting the Blackburn game due to injuries to both Ebanks-Blake and Bjorn Sigurdarson.
"We're a bit imbalanced as a squad," Saunders admits. "Sylvan was feeling his hamstring a bit last week so he dropped to the bench - I didn't want him to be out for three or four weeks.
"Bjorn's had a thigh strain, but he looks a bit like Jake - someone who is strong, scores goals and wants to run. It's hard to find players who want to run.
"He's not far off being available. We're going to have a game today (Monday) and maybe one on Wednesday as well so I can get the players on a big pitch and I can see what I've got."
While assessing his current players, Saunders is refusing to rule out the possibility of adding to the squad this month, but says any potential signings would have to fit in with the club's existing ethos.
"We're working together - we want to get back in the Premier League without bankrupting the club. That's the tactic."
He continues: "We want to recruit players with a bit of class and with a work ethic. Look at Luis Suarez - he runs and he tries and he's brilliant. That's what we want.
"We've got to come up with a plan that's going to get us out of this league. We're talking about it, I've talked about it with Steve Morgan and Jez Moxey.
"Only certain players become available at this time of year and you're paying through the nose for them. We have to make sure we get the right one.
"I don't really want to bring anyone into the club who plays the way I don't want them to play and won't be right for the group. We could just make a kneejerk reaction and just get any old striker, but we need someone who can improve us, the right type of player."
However, Saunders is also adamant that the club's existing players will all get a fair chance to impress, and that no contact has been made with other clubs over potential targets.
"I need to watch our players first," he says. "I might get two games in before we have to make a decision in the end.
"People are wasting their time asking about names because I haven't spoken to anyone yet."



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