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Jan 7, 2013

Saunders ready for Wolves challenge

New Wolves manager Dean Saunders believes he can fulfil his ambition to manage at the highest level by bringing back Premier League football to Molineux.

Saunders wasted little time in accepting the chance to take over from Stale Solbakken at the Championship club - following negotiations with owner Steve Morgan on Sunday - and refuses to accept promotion this season is a lost cause, despite Wolves languishing in 18th place in the Championship.

Wolves have won just three of their last 16 league games and the former Welsh international is the fourth manager at the club in less than a year, but Saunders cannot wait to get started in the biggest job of his fledgling managerial career.

"I am really proud to be manager of such a great club," he said. "There is a little disappointment at leaving Doncaster behind, because I put 14 players on new contracts there, but I could not turn the opportunity down.

"I want to manage at the highest level and I am ambitious. My brief is to get the club back in the Premier League and that does not faze me. I believe we have the players and if we can string three or four wins together we will be looking differently at the league table. If we all pull in the same direction there is no reason why we cannot climb the table and get into the next league."

Saunders has heard the excuses for Wolves' problems this season and suggestions they have struggled to come to terms with losing their Premier League status last May, yet he has warned his new squad to snap out of their self-pity mode quickly.

"It is like going to the best party ever and having a hangover you can't get rid of, but they have got to get rid of it. This is a challenge I am going to enjoy. I am on a personal mission. The players have to grasp the challenge as well," he said.

"The message to them is to stop feeling sorry for themselves and blaming other people and get some results on the pitch and get up the table. If the players don't want to be with it they will not be here for long. We need to get back in the Premier League. That is where the party is. The longer we are in this league the harder it is to get out of."

Morgan has been angered by claims that Wolves are becoming a sacking club, after ousting Mick McCarthy, Terry Connor and Solbakken since last February and that he is not concerned by the lack of managerial experience of his latest choice as boss.

"He does not have a huge amount of experience as a manager, but he has huge football experience," Morgan said. "We have had four managers in just over six years and I hope that in six-years time Dean will still be here and we will be talking about some successful times."

Morgan has also made it clear to Saunders he has inherited a squad "too big" from Solbakken, who paid the price for failing to grasp the "cultural differences". The new manager is likely to have to sell some of his fringe players before making any moves in the January transfer window.

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