Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 match report: Wolves crisis as they hit 'rock bottom'

Dean Saunders says rebuilding starts now after second relegation, while chairman apologises

amex stadium

Dean Saunders, the Wolves manager, said after his team's descent to League One was confirmed that they would have needed "a minor miracle" yesterday to have avoided a second relegation in successive seasons. He was wrong. It would have required a major one, and miracles have been in short supply at Molineux recently.

Wolves needed to beat fourth-placed Brighton and hope for the right results elsewhere, but they failed to fulfil their side of the bargain. A fight for survival never materialised and they were 2-0 down before mounting a half-hearted attempt at a recovery.

It will be no consolation that their total of 51 points would have left them safe last season. When Wolves were last demoted to the third tier, in 1985 – also thanks to a defeat at Brighton – things got worse before they got better as the team dropped to the old Fourth Division.

Saunders, appointed in January, believes that he is the man to stop any repeat of such a slide. "When the [final] whistle went I started rebuilding the club," he said. "We've got to put it behind us and start moving forward. Sometimes out of crisis you get opportunity – because we're at rock bottom – to change things drastically.

"It's happened before to clubs as big as this. Brighton are an example to everybody. I played for them 20 years ago; they went bankrupt, ended up playing miles away from Brighton, then in a stadium that wasn't theirs. The owners have done brilliantly, built a stadium like this, got out of League One, hit the ground running, and with their momentum they might get into the Premier League.

"We've got to do that. We've got to get players in who think like I'm thinking, who want to win – fresh minds, no damage done to them, no confidence issues. The supporters were brilliant today. They've had three years of pain, crap weekends, and I'll be determined to change it for them, because they deserve it."

Those long-suffering fans were stunned after only five minutes when Kazenga LuaLua cut inside three defenders before shooting low past Dorus De Vries. When LuaLua doubled the lead, the unimpressed Wolves fans chanted: "That's why we're going down".

Their team improved after the introduction of Stephen Hunt, but not enough to threaten Brighton, who face old rivals Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-finals. "Today's game sums our season up," Saunders said. "We've not been good enough in the opposition's box or in our own box. It's been going on three years.

"I think everyone's got to take a bit of blame. Over the last few years decisions have been made that end up in this. Eventually the mentality is not right in a club and you have to be ruthless and start again.."

The club chairman, Steve Morgan, was apologetic afterwards, saying: "We have failed our supporters and the city, and for that I am truly sorry. Clearly a lot of mistakes have been made over the past two seasons. Although every decision has been with the club's best interests at heart, we have clearly got some of those decisions wrong. I understand the fans' pain, anger and resentment towards me, the board and the players."

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-1-2-3): Kuszczak; David, Greer, Upson, Painter (Hammond, 78); Bridcutt; Vicente (Barker, 88), Crofts; Barnes, Ulloa, LuaLua (El-Abd, 70).

Wolves (4-4-1-1): De Vries; Doherty (Sigurdarson, 61), Johnson, Gorkss, Elokobi (Ward, 72); Dicko, Henry, O'Hara, Sako (Hunt, h-t); Doumbia; Doyle.

Referee Simon Hooper.

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea