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Dean's Dilemma


12:00 9th April 2013

Boss on his remaining striking options

Wolves boss Dean Saunders has explained the thinking behind his team selection at Bolton on Saturday, in particular the decision to start Jake Cassidy up front alongside Kevin Doyle.

The young Welsh forward deputised for the injured Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at the Reebok Stadium, but was replaced at half-time as Wolves lost 2-0.

Saunders said this week that the youngster will have a part to play in the final month of the season as Wolves battle a second successive relegation.

"I put Jake in there on Saturday to leave the team as settled as I could," he explained. "We had the same midfield which had won the previous three games.

"I was going to change the team before Birmingham as I wasn't sure whether they could do it again and whether Sylvan could play two games in three days. I didn't make any changes, and we won.

"So I tried to not make too many changes for Saturday and I put Jake in as a straight swap for Sylvan."

Cassidy spent much of last year on-loan at League One Tranmere Rovers, before returning to Molineux early this year, making his league bow in Saunders' first game in charge against Blackburn Rovers.

The Bolton match was 20 year-old's third start in Wolves colours, and Saunders is determined that the disappointing performance and result shouldn't knock the youngster's confidence.

"Jake's scored eleven goals in League One in the first half of this season," Saunders said.

"But him and Kevin Doyle didn't get much service at Bolton to be honest, the two of them. And we were 2-0 down after nine minutes which is never good news if you're a striker.

"Then I changed the shape of the team so he was up there on his own until half-time when I brought Tongo on. Jake will be disappointed he hasn't played like he can, but it was my decision."

He added: "You have to make these decisions as the manager and you have to live and die by them - some come off and some don't."

Wolves now have five games of the season remaining, in which they will have to attempt to clinch Championship survival without their two leading goalscorers - Ebanks-Blake and Bakary Sako - both of whom have suffered season-ending injuries in recent weeks.

With his striking options now limited, Saunders says he is assessing all combinations in a bid to rediscover the goalscoring touch which saw Wolves net eight times in the three games prior to the Bolton defeat.

"Jake will get another chance, definitely," he stated. "He just didn't get any service and we were under the cosh for the first twenty minutes. Kevin Doyle had the header in the first half that hit the bar, but he didn't see much of the ball either.

"I could have changed the midfield and put Bjorn (Sigurdarson) up there or put someone in behind Kevin, but that midfield has been involved in winning the last three games.

"Bjorn and Stephen Hunt had been doing very well and Bjorn scored a good goal coming in from the right against Middlesbrough.

"He's got pace which can get in behind the back four and get balls into the box."

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