Saunders was axed as Wolves manager earlier this week after less than six months in charge at Molinuex following the club's slide into League One.
Doherty, who established himself in the Wolves side this season under Saunders; was one of the real positives to come from what was an awful season for the midlands club.
He admits he was shocked to see the Welshman dismissed and feels he owes him a debt of gratitude for giving him his chance in the starting XI.
"I was quite surprised when I heard about the gaffer's sacking as he had only been there since January," Doherty told Sky Sports.
"No one had any idea what would happen after the Brighton game as we all went our own way after the game and the manager said he would ring me over the summer and I never thought he would be gone two days later.
"I am disappointed to see him go as he showed great faith in me and gave me a proper run in the team.
"I have played the last 13 games and that is all down to him. He kept me in the team even when results were not going our way and it would have been easy for him to take me out of the team as I was one of the younger ones, but he kept his faith in me and showed I deserved to be there.
"He gave me so much confidence and that's what makes you want to do well for the manager and team."
Doherty admits the Wolves players must take relegation on the chin revealing all the players are embarrassed to suffer back-to-back relegations in the last two seasons.
"It is an embarrassment to be honest," added Doherty. "Everybody was completely shocked and to think we are going to be in League One instead of the Championship is not a good thought and it hurts me.
"If you get relegated from the Premier League you can almost get your head around it - it's a the hardest league in the world - but to get relegated from the Championship is unthinkable for a club like Wolves.
"It's definitely sunk in now and to realise we are not even in the Championship next season is heart-breaking."
Doherty, who has only one year remaining on his contract at the midlands club, is honest enough to admit the players have failed to perform all season and that the blame should not all be apportioned to Saunders.
"On paper our squad should have been looking at the game against Brighton as one where we are going for promotion and not looking for a miracle to stay in the Championship," noted Doherty.
"It's not just happened while Dean has been there. It has been over the whole season, we haven't performed and I don't know what the matter is.''
"We have players to do it but we just haven't done it and it is hard to put your finger on the reasons why."
Despite the struggles of the last two seasons, Doherty is adamant Wolves should be aiming to bounce straight back and win League One next season.
"In my own head I am thinking we should be getting straight back up to the Championship," added Doherty.
"I know it isn't going to be easy, after having a really good loan spell there earlier in the season. It is far from a stroll in the park.
"There's going to be some lows even in League One where we are not going to win games and stuff, but we just need to properly focus on next season even though we are not going enjoy it and hopefully get the job done.
"We need to take it (relegation) on the chin and get out of the division as quick as possible."