Wolves’ new manager faces ‘a massive task’

Dean Saunders: Five victories. Picture: Getty
Dean Saunders: Five victories. Picture: Getty
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Dean Saunders’ successor as manager at Molineux faces “a massive task” to lift the club in readiness for an instant return to the npower Championship, former Wolves goalkeeper Matt Murray has said.

Wolves sacked Saunders, 48, yesterday morning following the club’s relegation to League One and are now in the hunt for their fifth permanent manager in less than 15 months.

Former Burnley, Bolton and St Johnstone manager Owen Coyle, Peterborough’s Darren Ferguson and Kenny Jackett –who resigned from his post as Millwall manager yesterday – have been installed among the early favourites for the job.

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

Murray, who spent an injury-plagued 12 years at the club 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 said. “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.”

Saunders replaced Stale Solbakken in January, but won just five of his 20 games in charge and could not prevent Wolves’ second successive relegation.

A statement released yesterday on the club’s website read: “The decision has been made following confirmation of Wolves’ relegation to npower League One. Assistant manager Brian Carey will also be leaving.

“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.”