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Wolves players 'in the Army' under Saunders

Sport | Published:

New manager Dean Saunders today declared Wolves are 'in the Army now' with a strict new disciplinary code for players.

Previous boss Stale Solbakken had a more relaxed, European attitude to discipline, dress code and timekeeping.

However, the new Molineux chief wants a return to strict discipline to make players respect each other more so they are a more together unit on the pitch.

Players must not be late for training, eat properly at all times with more care paid to nutrition and avoid leaving dirty kit around.

Saunders said: "Football is a watered-down version of the Army, discipline-wise. 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.

"Such things as not being late for training, not leaving their training kit on the floor, being in for treatment on time, living their lives properly and not going to McDonald's.

"You take all that on the pitch with you. They should eat like athletes – I don't think Jessica Ennis stops at McDonald's.

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"That's discipline – as is being able to say 'no' to things that might make you play badly, respecting your team-mates and authority."

Solbakken's more relaxed attitude to discipline may have contributed to the feeling that not everyone was pulling their weight.

Saunders believes the players will respond positively to the changes.

He said: "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."

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