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Playing Through Adversity


08:00 18th March 2013

Boss backs players to continue run

Wolves boss Dean Saunders believes his players proved they can perform “when the chips are down” in Saturday’s victory over Bristol City.

With barely 15 minutes left Wolves were behind and set to spend a fortnight at the foot of the npower Championship table having conceded a bizarre opening goal and then lost Bakary Sako and Dave Edwards to injury.

But quickfire goals from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle, both set up by Stephen Hunt, sent Molineux into raptures and secured the victory which proved even more important given wins for Barnsley and Peterborough.

Saunders insists he never gave up on Wolves coming through despite a difficult afternoon, and highlighted the players hanging onto their belief as a key factor in the comeback.

“I’ve been in that situation before as a player and a manager,” he said.

“You are standing there thinking it is not happening and you need someone to get you going and get a goal.

“You have to keep your belief especially in front of a crowd at a big club who demand better performances.

“They expect better than what we were doing at a club like this.

“You have to have the strength of character to show for the ball, take the full back on when you get the ball instead of passing it back, going in for a chance when you have missed three, taking a risk to join an attack.

“You have to show all that character when the chips are down because anybody can play when you are 3-0 up.

“I am pleased that the players kept going and in the end the fans were ecstatic.

“It all works both ways as we need to give the fans something to shout about.

“But you can’t play for a big club unless you can play in adversity.

“I think the players have still got that passion and character but they are devastated with what has been happening.

“They don’t ‘not try’ and it looks like some are trying harder than others because there are different types of players.

“But confidence makes such a difference – if you haven’t got it then it can make you doubt everything you do.”

Saunders is certainly hoping the players will be well served for the battles still to come after Saturday’s win, not to mention now having taken seven points from four games and built up momentum.

“It’s a big win and we have to take that forward now,” he added.

“There is still a lot to do and the other teams around us have won but I think a few higher up might be panicking now.

“Hopefully we can take some resilience from this because we have been struggling for a long time.

“When we equalised late on against Watford I think we took that belief on.

“We knew that no matter what the circumstances we could score and get a result late on.

“We went on to Millwall and won that game comfortably and then ran in to a Forest team bang on form.

“I was worried that the result at Forest might knock our momentum in a tough run of games and I was a bit surprised with how we played in the first half.

“We missed chances by slicing over the bar or slicing wide but then it was a great finish from Sylvan.

“He’s took it with his back to goal, swivelled and produced a great finish and then the winner is a great cross and a great header.”

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