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Steel And Resilience


15:12 11th January 2013

The key to climbing the table.

Dean Saunders will take his place in the Molineux dugout for the first time tonight, and the new boss has spoken of the need for his squad to develop extra steel and resilience to ensure they begin to climb the table.

After just three wins in the last fifteen League outings, Wolves go into this evening's clash with Blackburn Rovers sitting in a lowly 18th position in the Championship table.

And Saunders believes that key to halting the slide lies with his team being hard to beat, both at Molineux and on the road.

"I've watched quite a few games," the manager said. "Forest, Blackpool and I watched the Luton match on Wednesday morning and there's a pattern running through them. I think we're too easy to play against so we've got to change that.

"Ask any footballers, are you difficult to play against? What are your strengths, and why are you difficult to play against? Are we quick or strong?

"When you've played against the best, we all have a player, someone who we don't like playing against," he explained. "Mine was probably Martin Keown, because he was quick, strong and aggressive.

"All of the players individually, they've got to go on that pitch tonight and give their opponent a difficult game. It's a case of 'you're not going to find it easy against me'."

Ahead of the clash with Rovers - who will be led by caretaker manager Gary Bowyer - Saunders is expecting a tough test as Wolves look to complete their first League double of the campaign.

"They've (Blackburn) had a decent run of results in recent weeks, they've got some confidence and have pace right through the team," he said.

"Having come out of the Premier League, they've got good, Premier League players in their squad, so it's going to be a tough game. But we've got good enough players here to beat anyone."

A solitary Bakary Sako goal thirteen minutes from time gave Wolves the three points at Ewood Park, and while wary of Blackburn's own goalscoring threat, Saunders is confident that the October victory in Lancashire will give his players belief to add to their points tally evening.

"Blackburn have got good players and a goalscorer there in Jordan Rhodes who can get goals from anywhere at any time - I think he has 15 already this season so he will be dangerous and they've got that ability in their team.

"But our players know they can beat them. They've done it once."

Three points this evening would be just Wolves' fifth maximum haul at home this season, and Saunders is eager for players and fans to join forces to turn Molineux into a fortress for the remainder of the campaign.

"I've been through this before and I know exactly what's happening at the club. When you come down from the Premier League, you think you're going to beat everyone 4-0.

"You think you're going to come up against teams at home and win 4-0 but it doesn't work like that. All these teams come to Wolves to get a point.

"They set their teams up to frustrate Wolves and the crowd and it might take us 85 minutes to beat them because we might not be able to play the way we want to play," he continued.

"They break the play up and stop you getting any rhythm into your game. You miss a couple of chances and anxiety creeps into the ground - fans screaming 'we've got to beat them'.

"But we've got 90 minutes to win these games. I played for some great clubs in my career and, at one of them - Liverpool - we scored no end of goals at the end of games to win 1-0 or win after we'd been losing.

"Eventually you get to these teams but you can't think you're better than you are and that you are just going to roll them over.

"The boys have to be patient and we've got to have some respect for the opposition because the managers have worked all week to stop us."

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