Dean Saunders sacked by Wolves

Dean Saunders has been sacked by Wolves following relegation from the Championship to League One.

Last Updated: 07/05/13 at 16:53 Post Comment   

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Wolves have sacked Dean Saunders and have begun the search for their fifth permanent manager in less than 15 months.

Saunders, 48, replaced Stale Solbakken in January, but won just five of his 20 games in charge and could not prevent Wolves from dropping into npower League One, the club's second successive relegation.

Wolves lost five of their last six matches of the season and former Doncaster boss Saunders is followed out of Molineux by assistant Brian Carey.


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A statement released on the club's website read: "Manager Dean Saunders has been informed by Wolves that his contract is to be terminated.

"The decision has been made following confirmation of Wolves' relegation to npower League One. Assistant manager Brian Carey will also be leaving the club.

"Wolves have now begun a recruitment process, which, in conjunction with the board, will be managed by head of football development and recruitment Kevin Thelwell.

"The club will now take as long as is necessary to make this crucial appointment and there will be no publicly communicated timescales.

"Wolves would like to thank Dean and Brian for their efforts in what has been a very difficult period for everyone, and wish them both the very best for the future.

"The club will be making no further comment at this stage."

Wolves owner Steve Morgan sacked Mick McCarthy, who had spent five and a half years in charge, in February last year with the club struggling at the bottom end of the Barclays Premier League.

McCarthy's assistant Terry Connor was appointed until the end of that season, but Wolves were relegated to the npower Championship with three games remaining.

Connor was sacked the following July and Stale Solbakken, who had lost his job at Cologne the previous month, was charged with guiding Wolves straight back to the top flight.

But the Norwegian made little impact at Molineux and after just half a season, with the club lying 18th in the Championship in January, he too was sacked and replaced two days later by Saunders.

Former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Saunders, who began his managerial career at Wrexham, took over as Doncaster manager in September 2011.

He was unable to halt Doncaster's slide into npower League One last season, but galvanised the South Yorkshire club and steered them into second place in the table before leaving to take charge of Wolves.

Doncaster secured an instant return to the npower Championship with victory at Brentford on the final day of the season under Brian Flynn, who has since stood down as Rovers manager.

Former Wolves goalkeeper Matt Murray believes Saunders' successor at Molineux faces "a massive task" to lift the club in readiness for an instant return to the npower Championship.

Former Burnley and Bolton manager Owen Coyle, Peterborough's Darren Ferguson and Kenny Jackett, who resigned from his post as Millwall boss earlier today, have been installed among the early favourites for the job.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones, who spent nearly three years in charge at Molineux from January 2001 to November 2004, has also been linked to a return and would be a popular choice with fans.

Murray, who spent an injury-plagued 12 years at the club after progressing from the academy before retiring aged 29 in 2010, said Wolves will find it difficult to bounce straight back from the third tier.

"The Wolves players have to realise that in every single game they're going to be a massive scalp," Murray told Sky Sports News.

"In the Championship Wolves are a big scalp, but in League One other clubs will go there desperate to play them and when they go away to these teams, it's going to be a lion's den.

"But everything is geared up there with all the staff behind the scenes and everything else and the budget.

"I think they've still got £16million of parachute payments and everything else, then I believe Wolves can get back.

"But the appointment, the person who comes in, it's a massive task just to lift the whole place."

Murray added: "Darren Ferguson on his budget at Peterbrough has done an unbelievable job. He's been promoted out of League One before, and very nearly kept them in the Championship.

"They play a very attractive brand of football, he's got good connections throughout the game, so I believe he could lift the place.

"Owen Coyle is obviously proven and has taken Burnley out of the Championship, has done well with Bolton as well and is very likeable, so he would come in with enthusiasm.

"I think the club and fans want to see someone lift the place, give them that confidence.

"They've gone with a couple of inexperienced people, now they want to go with people who have a bit more experience.

"I live in the Wolves area and people would like to see Dave Jones come back for example."


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