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Football League

Dean Saunders pleads his case after Wolverhampton Wanderers limp to exit


Soon after overseeing the limp defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday that confirmed Wolverhampton Wanderers' descent from the Premier League to League One in successive seasons, Dean Saunders explained why Steve Morgan, the owner, should stick with him rather than look for a fifth manager in 15 months.

"If you had four managers in Boots the Chemist, ask the staff how they feel," he said. "They wouldn't know if they were coming or going. The worst thing you can have at a club is uncertainty. Someone's got to do this job and I'm up for it."

High Street stores, of course, are seldom relegated to back alleys. But at least Saunders, in charge at Molineux since January, could point to the promotion of his former club, Doncaster Rovers, to take Wolves' place in the Championship as proof, however ironic, that he can build a team capable of winning games in League One.

"It gives me the confidence of knowing that what I did [at Doncaster] last summer was right," he said. "We've all got to take a bit of blame but we have to see past that now. It's behind us and tomorrow I'm on with the job."

That, of course, is up to Morgan, who was abused by supporters last week for building a new stand rather than investing in the team. Surely a bigger error came in February 2012 when he sacked Mick McCarthy with Wolves 18th in the Premier League.

McCarthy had taken the club to 15th in 2010, their highest finish since 1980, but was replaced by his untried assistant, Terry Connor, who did not win a game, then Stale Solbakken, who had no experience of English football. Saunders looks like the second coming of Stan Cullis by comparison and advocates rebuilding the team rather than the stands.

"They have lost 86 games in four years – that's a lot of s*** Sundays," he said. "There's damaged confidence in the club and you have to have a complete rethink. I've got to build a team with the right culture where everyone is working for their wages, they all want to win, they're all proud to play for Wolves, they all feel lucky to be at the club. Whether it's me or someone else, somebody's got a big job."

How big? Between 1983 and 1985 Wolves also went straight from the top flight to third tier. And then carried on down to Division Four.