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Support Hailed By Saunders


14:20 1st March 2013

Boss relishing the pressure


Wolves boss Dean Saunders has urged the Molineux faithful to continue their 'magnificent' support as the campaign enters its final months.

Wolves haven't won since December 21 - when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's double secured victory against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road - a winless streak that now stands at 12 games.

While he acknowledges the fans' frustrations, Saunders says that their support is vital as Wolves battle to avoid the drop to League One, starting with Friday's home game against promotion-chasing Watford (7.45pm).

"The fans have been magnificent since I came here," the manager says. "They were superb against Cardiff at the weekend and they helped us get a result against Leeds in the previous home game.

"I understand the fans' frustration," but we've got more important things on at the moment. On Friday night, we need everyone pulling in the same direction.

"I don't care how we get them, but we need the three points. The fans can suck the ball over the line, they can influence the referee, they can influence decisions, they can influence the atmosphere in the stadium.

"When we kick off, I'd rather that everyone is behind the team, regardless of who's playing. That's all I want - that's all anybody wants."

Since taking over at Molineux in early January, Saunders has drawn four and lost four of his eight games, but says the pressure is something that he thrives on.

"I've seen managers go through worse than this," he says. "

"I've seen Graeme Souness manage in Turkey with Galatasaray, with 200 journalists watching training every day, and he got hammered if they didn't win 4-0 every week.

"I've played under him at Benfica, trying to coach a team in a foreign language - they were all eye openers for me.

"You can't keep me down – I’m down for a day then I am back up fighting.

“This is a great club and I’ve been here for five minutes and I’m determined to make the whole thing work.

“I’m a ’late sub’ here but I’ve been brought in to try to put things right.

“I love doing the job and I love the pressure - there are millions of good managers sat in their garden doing nothing, with no pressure.

“It does get you down, obviously - there would be something wrong if it didn't - and sometimes you question yourself, because if you don't, you'll never get any better.

“It’s the same with criticism, you have to take it and listen, but most of it bounces off you.

“I'm working as hard as I can right now to get results, and as long as you do that, you can always look in the mirror, and say 'I did my best'.

“What’s happening to us now is just a problem I didn’t expect.

“I was getting prepared for a promotion challenge next season but now I’ve got to address this situation because we’ve got to stay in this league first.

“Next season I can assure everyone, if we manage to stay up, we’ll have a team in July on the starting grid ready to compete for promotion.”

Saunders admits he has food for thought on team selection heading into tonight’s game, including whether to recall experienced full backs Stephen Ward and Kevin Foley.

He has no complaints about the attitude and application of his entire squad and insists they are working as hard as they can to come out of the bad run.

 “The players have been good - they’ve trained properly,” he added.

“We’ve had to work on that a bit and on a new structure to what we’re trying to do.

“I haven’t heard too many different excuses – they’re all disappointed but they’re all trying.

“Sometimes it can look like they’re not trying through lack of belief and confidence and two years of not winning many games and we’ve conceded 80-odd goals in 40-odd games.

“So I’ve got to get the belief back in them and a couple of wins will do that.”

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