Bullish Wolves boss Dean Saunders today insisted he isn’t thinking about relegation or the financial mess it would leave the club in.
Wolves could sink to the bottom of the Championship tonight if they lose at Millwall and Bristol City beat Brighton at home.
Saunders, however, is convinced Wolves are edging closer to their first victory after 13 games without a win.
And the ever-optimistic Molineux chief believes they can avoid the huge financial headache a second successive relegation would dump the club in.
The players’ annual wage bill is £25m and there are no plans for salary cuts after players took a drop of between 15 to 50 per cent when they fell out of the Premier League.
“I’m not even thinking about getting relegated,” said Saunders.
“I’m thinking about us winning three games on the trot, then the league table will look completely different.”
As for the players’ futures, Saunders said: “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
“I’d rather motivate the players into looking upw-ards than thinking about threatening them about what could happen going the other way.
“I’m saying to them ‘come on, if we do well now, then next season, we’re going to go for promotion.
“And if we do well next season, their money will go the other way.
“All I’m trying to do is motivate the players to win some games. I think they know for their own careers how important it is.”
Millwall, who have their FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday at home to Blackburn, are in worse league form than Wolves, with six defeats in their last eight league games.
“They’re still in the FA Cup which can drag your form along or affect your form badly,” said Saunders.
“Hopefully it has affected their league form badly because if we beat them, we’re five points behind them.”
Meanwhile, Saunders today insisted Wolves are making progress and are edging closer to their first victory since he took charge.
Second-from-bottom Wolves go to Millwall tonight seeking their first win in 14 games, having gone from 18th, nine points from the play-offs and six points from the drop zone when he was appointed, to 23rd and a point below the safety line now.
Boss Saunders believes the improved second half against Cardiff and the late comeback draws against Leeds and in-form Watford prove Wolves are starting to turn the corner.
“I actually feel like we’re making progress, believe it or not,” said Saunders. “I know people get fed up of me saying positive things but I actually do.
“We did it against Watford, Leeds and Cardiff, when Sylvan would have made it 2-2 if he’d scored that chance at the end.
“So they’re fighting until the end with the belief they’ve got from scoring.
“And scoring in the 93rd minute is a major boost because you’re never dead and you know you can score late on – we’ve done it twice now.
“When you look at our performances, the games could have gone either way. I’m not telling the players lies when I say they’re capable of winning these matches.
“In the last two, they’ve shown that against the best teams in the league because there has been nothing in it.
“So there’s no reason why we can’t win four or five games.”
Asked what gives him the belief, Saunders said: “I look at what we’ve got and who we’re playing against and we just need luck.
“We’ve had two penalties given against us and we’ve missed chances – Leicester away, Blackpool here, Cardiff last week and the referee didn’t give us a penalty with the last kick of the game the other night.”
Saunders warned Wolves will have to show their appetite for a battle to get anything from Millwall. “It’s going to be a tough game – they’re a hardworking team and they battle for every point,” he said.