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Siege Mentality


11:45 11th April 2013

Boss urges players to come through adversity

Wolves manager Dean Saunders says his players should adopt a siege mentality in the face of the run of bad luck they have experienced in recent weeks.

David Edwards, Carl Ikeme, David Davis and the club's two top goalscorers, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Bakary Sako, have all suffered season-ending injuries in the space of three weeks, while full-back Matt Doherty is also a doubt for Saturday's home game with Huddersfield Town.

And winger Razak Boukari is today undergoing an operation to try and resolve the long-standing calf injury which has denied him the chance to prove himself during his first season at Molineux.

However, Saunders is adamant that his squad has both the depth and the determination to cope with their continuing poor fortune off the pitch.

"You either feel sorry for yourself, and think 'everything's going against us', or you unite together and adopt a kind of a siege mentality," he said.

"You either go one way or another. I've said to the players, 'yes, we've lost key members of the squad, but we've got a good enough group to cope with that'. Some of the other teams down there haven't.

"A lot of them won't have the character that we've got either. We've shown character when it mattered - when we were 1-0 down against Bristol City, when we went to Millwall needing a result, when we faced two games in three days over the Easter weekend and ended up getting six points."

He added: "They've come out fighting on those occasions, and all the injuries and results going against us haven't knocked them."

Wolves' recent run of four wins in five games - which came to an end with defeat at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday - saw them climb out of the bottom three, but still firmly entrenched in the scrap for survival.

With rivals Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday picking up points in midweek, Wolves' situation continues to look precarious, and Saunders admits that the nature relegation battle has confounded even his predictions.

He said: "It's just remarkable really, when you see what happened in midweek as well. Before we went to Bolton, we'd won four out of five, and that should see you shoot up the league.

"But it hasn't seemed to have made a dent, apart from dragging the teams in the top half back towards us and tightening it all up.

"There are still a lot of teams that could get relegated, but it's in our own hands now and we've got two home games in front of us now. Everything seems to have gone against us, but that makes you stronger as a group."

In terms of team news ahead of Saturday's game, Saunders admits that Doherty only has a  '60/40' chance of being involved, but says he would have no hesitation in recalling Kevin Foley should the younger of the two Irish full-backs not regain full fitness.

"Kevin Foley is ready to play," he confirmed. "He's had a spell out of the team but he's a good footballer and his attitude has been spot on.

"They have all shown a good attitude though - I've had no-one breaking ranks."

Boukari has travelled to France with Head of Wolves Medical Department Phil Hayward for today’s surgery.

“It’s been an absolute disaster for Razak and the club,” added Saunders.

“It’s a really unusual injury – the calf muscle is normally attached to the other one but it slid off when someone stepped on his heel as he was running forward and it pulled the one muscle off.

“The muscle has gone back on but there is only scar tissue holding it on.

“Sometimes the scar tissue is strong enough to hold it but sometimes not and he gets to a point where he just breaks down again.

“He joins in training but the minute he overloads it, the scar tissue isn’t holding it, so he’s going to have it sewn back on.

“It’s going to be ‘touch and go’ whether he’ll be ready to join us for pre-season.”

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