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Thinking Like A Fan


11:00 19th February 2013

Boss on Barnsley test

Wolves boss Dean Saunders says he has tried to get the view of the supporters over to his players ahead of what he describes as a 'six-pointer' against Barnsley tonight (7.45pm).
Saunders takes his team to Oakwell looking for the win that would put some breathing space between themselves and their hosts.
A victory tonight would be the first since December for Wolves, and the manager admits he is keen to convey the anxiety of the fans to the players as they aim to halt the slide that has seen Wolves slip to just a place above the relegation zone.
"I've said to the players this week what I believe the supporters would want me to say," Saunders says. "I think most of the supporters, if they had the chance, would say to the players 'do you realise the situation we're in? I hope you do', and I told the lads that.
"We're in a tricky situation and you've got to realise you're in that situation before you get dragged even further into it. We have to make sure we're in this league next season.
"It's about pride - personal pride and pride for the club. You should be proud to play for Wolves - I'm proud to be the manager. Every time you put on that Wolves shirt, you've got to realise how lucky you are."
Saunders also believes that Wolves have given themselves a platform to build on after Saturday's goalless draw at Derby - the second clean sheet that they have kept under his management.
New signing Kaspars Gorkss went straight into the side for that game, and he could be joined in the back four at Oakwell by fellow loanee Jack Robinson, who has joined from Liverpool until the end of the season.
"He gives us competition for places in an area where we're a bit short," Saunders says. 
"Defensively, we should take positives from Saturday, when I thought we were resolute and looked strong at the back.
"We've got to keep Barnsley below us. If we beat them, we pull away from them, but the main thing is going there with a mentality that we're not going to get beat.
At the other end of the pitch, Saunders has given words of his encouragement to his four strikers in their battle to regain their goalscoring touch.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is the only recognised forward to have scored during Saunders' reign so far, and the manager says he can empathise with his strikers' predicament.
"It used to affect my confidence if I didn't score," the former Wales international admits. "That's what my game revolved around.
"It's all about belief and confidence for a striker. When you're scoring, the ball bounces in front of you just as you thought it would, you time every run perfectly and the goalkeeper always seems to spill the ball into your path.
"The best way I can describe it, is that when you're scoring, you expect the ball to come to you and when you're not scoring, you hope that ball is going to come to you."
Kevin Doyle and Bjorn Sigurdarson were given starts at Pride Park on Saturday, and Saunders believes that the goals will come for his frontmen.
"Kevin's an experienced player - he knows you go through patches. It's not just Kevin though - Bjorn's had a go, Sylvan's had a go."
The manager continues: "Sylvan's goalscoring record is good this season, we've got Jake Cassidy chomping at the bit after he did well at Tranmere and Bjorn looks like he's got a goal in him as well.
"They're all capable of doing it - sometimes you just need a lucky one to get you started, because then you start to doubt other parts of your game as well. But it's not just the strikers, everyone needs to chip in."


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