Boss Dean Saunders today admitted he hopes the “sickening” sight of Wolves sinking into the drop zone is a reality check for his players after admitting relegation would be a “disaster”.
Wolves fell into the bottom three of the second tier for the first time since October 1999 after Barnsley’s 2-1 win over them last night at Oakwell – the Tykes’ eighth win in nine – took them over Saunders’ faltering side.
Players ran a gauntlet of abuse from the 999 away fans at the final whistle who chanted ‘Are you watching Steve Morgan?’ at the club’s owner-chairman, who missed last night’s game.
They are two points below the safety line but have played a game more than fourth-bottom Huddersfield after Bjorn Sigurdarson’s seventh-minute opener was cancelled out after the break by Chris Dagnall and substitute Jacob Mellis.
A year ago, Wolves dropped into the Premier League drop zone after the 5-1 defeat to Albion, but they find themselves in danger of a second successive relegation, having fallen 24 places.
Wolves, who produced their best 45 minutes under Saunders in the first half last night, have gone 11 games without a win – with Saunders in charge of the last seven, which have yielded just four points.
Their current run is the club’s worst outside the top flight since a club record 19 games without a win from December 1984 to April 1985 under Tommy Docherty during the Bhatti era – the last time Wolves were relegated from the second tier.
The manager now has 13 games – the same as Terry Connor was given 12 months ago – to save Wolves’ season, and admitted things must change quickly.
“We don’t want to be in the bottom three,” said Saunders. “It’s really sickening, a kick in the teeth.
“Hopefully reality hits home because I’ve been trying to drum it into the players since I got here: ‘Don’t think it can’t happen to you’.
“I’ve been telling them if I was a supporter I’d be wanting to make sure they realise what the situation at the club is.
“I’ve got to put an end to it and get the mentality right. I’ve explained to them there are lots of consequences if we don’t stay in this league and it would be a disaster for the club.”