Saunders plots Premier return
Dean Saunders wants Wolves to shake off their relegation hangover and get back to the Premier League party.
Saunders was unveiled as Wanderers' new boss on Monday afternoon after a whirlwind 36 hours at Molineux, succeeding Stale Solbakken following the Norwegian's dismissal in the aftermath of Saturday's humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Luton. The Welshman takes over a side who currently find themselves languishing in 18th place in the npower Championship following relegation from the top flight last season. But he insists promotion back to the Premier League remains the brief.
"I'm on a personal mission myself to get it right. That's what drives me on, to get it right," Saunders said.
"It's like going to the best party you have ever been and waking up with the worst hangover. Wolves have got to get over it.
"When you are relegated, you think you are the big boys in the league. We need to get that mentality out of the way for a start.
"We have to get back to the party. That's where it is, in the Premier League. The longer we stay out of it, the more difficult it is."
Saunders will get five days to work with his new players before taking to the dugout for the first time in Friday night's home clash against managerless Blackburn. Wanderers sold Steven Fletcher, Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly in the summer, although Solbakken was allowed to reinforce his ranks with the likes of winger Bakary Sako. Even though Wanderers have been hampered by an horrendous injury list, they still boast established names such as Kevin Doyle, Roger Johnson, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Karl Henry. And Saunders has wasted little time in warning that any players who do not want to fight for the cause and work with him will be quickly replaced as he looks to cut a 40-man squad down to 25.
"I'm going to assess the squad. The players picked on Friday get the first bite of the cherry. They have to show me they want to be here. If I see weaknesses, then we will try to do something about it," he said.
"We need to find players who are determined to fight for the club. That's the message I'm putting over."
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