Wolves confirm Saunders appointment

  • Last Updated: January 7 2013, 18:47 GMT

New Wolves manager Dean Saunders will be unveiled to the media on Monday afternoon although outgoing boss Stale Solbakken believes he should have been given more time to turn the club's fortunes around.

Wolves confirm Saunders appointment

Saturday's embarrassing FA Cup third-round exit at non-league Luton proved the final straw for Wolves' hierarchy, who sacked Solbakken within hours of the 1-0 defeat.

The Norwegian, who only took charge in the summer, had gone into the game under real pressure following an awful festive period containing three successive defeats, which had left Wanderers 18th in the npower Championship and with just three wins from their last 16 league games.

But asked whether he should have been given more time, simply told Sky Sports News: "Yes.

"It's the name of the game. I am not a bitter person but obviously I think it was the wrong decision, but I sincerely hope Wolves can climb the table and they will be successful."

It cannot be doubted that Solbakken's efforts were thwarted by an horrendous injury list, with more than 10 players in the treatment room of late.

He added: "I have enjoyed every minute of it. I understand it especially with the last three of four performances and results but we are in the middle of January and a lot of players are soon coming back so it's a good combination for changing things.

"But that was not to be and you have to respect that, it's not my club and not my money."

Wolves wasted little time appointing their fourth boss in less than a year after the dismissal of Mick McCarthy last February and the brief tenure of Terry Connor.

Saunders was immediately linked with the vacancy, and an announcement from League One club Doncaster on Sunday morning stated they had received an approach and had given the 48-year-old permission to speak to the Black Country club.

It was subsequently revealed by Rovers last night that Saunders had accepted the new position and compensation had been agreed - 24 hours after Solbakken's departure - with Wolves officially confirming the appointment on Monday morning.

The former Wales striker gained coaching experience at Blackburn and Newcastle while he was also assistant manager to John Toshack in the international set-up for three years.

He began his management career with Wrexham in 2008 before taking over at Doncaster in September 2011 and although he was unable to prevent relegation from the Championship, he departs the Keepmoat Stadium with Rovers currently joint-top of League One.

"I'm really proud to be manager of the club," Saunders said, after being unveiled on Monday afternoon.

"I'm a bit disappointed to be leaving some of the players behind (at Doncaster). I persuaded 13 of them to sign for me during the summer.

"I'm determined, I'm ambitious. I want to get back into the Premier League, that's the brief.

"There's no reason why the team cannot climb up the league.

"Looking at the league table, we are up against it, where we are. But three results and it's completely different.

"If you do that, you will be up there. We're nine points off where we want to be. The players have to stop feeling sorry for themselves and work."

Wolves chairman Steve Morgan does not believe hiring Solbakken was a gamble - and does not see appointing Saunders as one either.

Following Solbakken's sacking and Saunders' appointment, Morgan said: "Performances have fallen well below the standards we expect at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"I didn't think appointing Stale was a gamble. It was out of the box. I think Dean is a very different character.

"The mistake, in hindsight, was a culture difference. Dean has played across British and European football. He knows a lot of the players already. He's a hard-working bloke.

"If you listen to Dean, then his football philosophy isn't rocket science. He asks the players to work hard. He's a hard-working guy and asks his players to do that."


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