Six points off the relegation zone and struggling in 18TH position in the Championship, the defeat to Luton in the FA Cup was a catalyst in finalizing the minds of the Wolverhampton Wanderers board of management. The six month tenure of Stale Solbakken at Molineux was over.
Wolves will presently unveil Doncaster Rovers manager Dean Saunders as the successor to the Norwegian with compensation with the league one side having being negotiated over the weekend. Saunders has led Doncaster to second in league one. Not necessarily the pedigree wished for by some Wolves fans. Sean O'Driscoll who was surprisingly removed from the helm at Nottingham Forest was deemed a front runner.
O'Driscoll however has turned down the opportunity to take over at Barnsley after their approach and subsequent meeting with them. Who is to say Wolves would not have been given the same reaction.
Ironically it was Dean Saunders who took over from O'Driscoll at Doncaster in September 2011. And it is Saunders who the midlands club are hoping will infuse some enthusiasm into the side, that will result in a rise up to the play-off places.
Saunders first foray into coaching was at Bradford City. This dovetailed with the finalization of his playing days at the same club. He then joined up with Graeme Souness at Blackburn Rovers as first team coach and when Souness took over at Newcastle United in 2004, Saunders followed suit and joined initially as a striker coach and then graduated to the sides first team coach.
In 2007 Saunders joined John Toshack's ill fated coaching set up with the Welsh national team. In 2008 he took over the reigns from Brian Little at Wrexham in the Conference National. A role he fulfilled in conjunction with his spell with Wales.
His stay at the Racecourse ground between 2008 and 2011 did not bring about promotion; he did however leave the side in rude health as league leaders before joining Doncaster. At Wrexham he brought about defensively solidity but was open for criticism at his sides sometimes impotency in front of goal.
Despite a positive start when he replaced O'Driscoll at Doncaster, he was unable to prevent the clubs relegation and descent into League one football. Despite fans calling for him to be replaced, the Welshman retained his position at the Keepmoat Stadium. He has aided the South Yorkshire side maintain a genuine title challenge and not dissimilar to his time at Wrexham he leaves them in a strong position.
His appointment at Wolves has undoubtedly been quick. Some may argue it has been hasty. Regardless he has a tough task in a fiercely competitive division. An initial reaction from the players will be expected. His first match will be welcoming Blackburn Rovers on Friday evening. Another club who haven't been slow to dismiss under performers at the helm. But more pressingly Saunders will be facing a side who are currently in good form.
A drive towards the promotion play off positions will be the minimum requirement bestowed on the 48 year old. How he handles those expectations in the coming weeks and months will be relative to any potential success.