Dean Saunders insists Bristol City clash is "must-win" game for struggling Wolves
Wolves manager Dean Saunders admits Saturday’s crunch game against Bristol City has become a ‘must win’ if the club is to beat relegation.
Barnsley’s 2-1 win over Brighton and Peterborough’s 1-1 draw at Leeds on Tuesday left Wolves in deep trouble, second from bottom and two points from safety going into this weekend’s fixture against basement side City.
The Tykes leapt out of the drop zone to fourth-bottom, and still have another game in hand, although it’s at leaders Cardiff on April 9.
And Saunders confessed: “It’s a six-pointer – we’ve got to win this game because if we don’t they jump above us and we’ll have another team to get past."
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He told the Express and Star: “We’re level on points with them so it will make a big difference if we win on Saturday. That means they’ve got to get two good results to go above us.”
Saunders urged relegation-haunted Wolves to make the most of Molineux and exploit the Championship’s ‘vulnerable’ teams.
Wolves host the Robins before the visit of out-of-form Middlesbrough two weeks later. Saunders’ side then have a St Andrew’s derby at inconsistent Birmingham and a trip to improving Bolton before another Molineux double against struggling Huddersfield and promotion-chasing Hull.
He said: "I said to the lads we have got Bristol City, who are down at the bottom with us, then Middlesbrough who have been struggling.
“Then we play Birmingham, who are near us, then Bolton – who have just turned it around.
“We’ve got four home games in the next six, so we’ve now got some games coming up where we can actually look forward to saying we can win. If we win the four home games, we’ll be alright.”
Saunders’ optimism is tempered by Wolves winning just one of their last 14 at Molineux going back to September 29. But the manager believes form goes out of the window at this time of the season.
He said: “At the end of every season, there will be teams winning that haven’t won.
“Teams manage to put a run together and they stay up. QPR might do it, and they had only won two games all season before winning the last two.”