Saunders: Wolves players should obey me - or else

Saunders was unveiled as the new manager of Wolves on Monday. Photo: PA

Dean Saunders wants to instil a strict army-style regime at Wolves as he bids to turn their season around, starting in tomorrow's npower Championship clash against Blackburn.

Saunders took over at Molineux on Monday following the dismissal of Stale Solbakken in the aftermath of Saturday's humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Luton, and the new manager is keen to make his mark.

The Welshman believes discipline is the key and is set on quickly implementing changes to move away from Solbakken's more relaxed approach.

"Football is a watered-down version of the army, discipline-wise," Saunders told the Birmingham Mail.

"In the army, you clean your shoes, tidy your bed and do things you don't want to do, you must obey orders.

"When a manager tells you to do something, you do it. The overall thinking is when we go to battle, you get instructions you must comply with and you get used to obeying instructions and respecting authority.

"It keeps everyone together on the same sheet. If you go into a war and two soldiers do their own thing, they get the rest killed. We are not in the army, but there have to be rules players must adhere to.

"Most proper professionals like discipline. They like to know where the line is and they don't want to see other people not adhering to it, because those people lose the respect of the group.

"If you are the manager and you don't do something about that, the rest of them don't respect you, so you lose the group. So the rules are there and if people break the rules, you have to act.

"Fining them and disciplining them gets the team right on the pitch."

Saunders has also promised each player a clean slate, which could be good news for Jermaine Pennant, whose three-month loan deal from Stoke is due to end next week.

Pennant has struggled to make an impact since his arrival in October but Saunders wants to see what the winger is capable of.

Saunders said: "I might play him on Friday (against Blackburn). I've given him a clean sheet of paper. We'll have a conversation about it.

"He's in a difficult situation because another manager brought him in on loan and I've got too many players, so we'll see. But he's a talented player."

Tongo Doumbia will miss out for Wolves with a hamstring injury that has seen him sit out the last three games, but Saunders has no other fresh injury concerns.

Managerless Blackburn approach the game with reserve team manager Gary Bowyer and head of youth Terry McPhillips in charge after Rovers' approach for Blackpool boss Michael Appleton was rejected.

Bowyer told a press conference: "As we stand we expect to be taking the team at Wolves.

"As far as we're aware we were told we had it until the end of January but, like I stressed last week when that announcement was made, we understand that anything can happen in that month.

"To be perfectly honest, it's nothing to do with me. It's a board matter. I think it would be wrong of me to comment on a manager at another football club.

"Until we're told otherwise we'll continue to do what we've done and that's prepare the players for the game tomorrow.

"I was notified last night and told that the official approach had been made, like I have been with everything that's gone on in our time here."