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Saturday, January 5, 2013
Solbakken sacked by Wolves

David Instone

Wolverhampton Wanderers have sacked manager Stale Solbakken in the wake of their FA Cup humiliation at non-League Luton Town.

Reports of his departure were confirmed by the club soon after 8.30pm on Saturday, some three-and-a-half hours after the final whistle blew on their 1-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road - their fourth loss in a row.

Wolves said he had gone with 'immediate effect,' accompanied by his assistant Johan Lange and first-team coach Patrick Weiser.

Kevin Thelwell, recently promoted to head of football development and recruitment, is in temporary charge of team affairs at Molineux, supported by development coach Steve Weaver - the man who assisted Terry Connor during a nightmare caretaker spell in charge following Mick McCarthy's sacking in February.

Solbakken, Wolves' first foreign manager, admitted on Friday that he had by no means the safest job in football following the club's slide to 18th place in the Championship.

He told reporters he did not regret saying the side were in 'deep s**t' after losing resoundingly to Peterborough, Ipswich and Crystal Palace in the space of a week and added fans would see through any attempts to deny that the club were in crisis.

Supporters had remained supportive of the Norwegian until the Christmas games, which followed the temporary relief of a victory at Blackpool.

But the pressure had grown lately, especially with owner and chairman Steve Morgan and chief executive Jez Moxey both returning recently from festive trips abroad.

A board meeting is thought to have been held on Friday and Saturday's game was seen as a crunch for the 44-year-old.

Wolves quickly climbed to third place in the table in the autumn but then went into a nosedive that leaves them only six points above the relegation line.

Many of the players Solbakken signed have had lengthy spells out through injury but there have also been reports of clashes with the squad - a far cry to the harmony that existed in the dressing room during Mick McCarthy's five-and-a-half years at the helm.

Wolverhampton-born Sean O'Drsicoll, recently sacked by Nottingham Forest, is among the early contenders as a replacement. Other candidates are likely to include Billy Davies, Alan Curbishley, Owen Coyle and Doncaster's Dean Saunders.




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