DONCASTER ROVERS: Dean Saunders: John Ryan is the best man I’ve ever met

Lavish praise: John Ryan
Lavish praise: John Ryan

DEAN Saunders divorced Doncaster Rovers and then declared ‘John Ryan is my best man’.

The new Wolves boss has quickly turned his attention to a brief of guiding the Championship strugglers back to the Premier League.

But a humble Saunders was equally as quick to pay tribute to his Rovers roots - especially chairman Ryan - after securing a lucrative switch to the Midlands club.

Saunders said: “I have to say John Ryan is the best man I’ve met in my life.

“I’ve worked for two chairmen in my career up to this point and they are both pillars of the community.

“I’ve had a great relationship with both of them.

“I really want to thank John, as well as Dick Watson, Terry Bramall, Gavin Baldwin and [accountant] Lee Ferriby.

“It has been a collective effort to do what we have at Doncaster, to take a step back and come back stronger.”

Saunders had a rough ride from a large section of supporters ever since he replaced Sean O’Driscoll in September 2011.

However, he stood on the cusp of winning over the majority of his doubters with his spirited side sitting joint top of League One.

Regardless, the Welshman was keen to thank Rovers fans for their support during his short tenure.

“I’d like to thank the supporters for getting behind me, especially the supporters who travelled to away games,” said Saunders.

“After all the games they lost over the last few years, I’ve been able to give them a few nice journeys home for a change.

“The club can break a record on Saturday [for consecutive away games unbeaten], and I’d like to think we put a smile back on a few fans’ faces.”

Saunders’ newest chairman Steve Morgan, meanwhile, has revealed his delight at securing the 48-year-old’s services.

“I’ve known Dean for some time,” said Wolves supremo Morgan.

“Our paths crossed at Wrexham and I’d followed his career before that with John Toshack at Wales. I’m confident we have the right man.

“Dean is a hardworking bloke, whose footballing philosophy is straightforward.

“Dean comes with maybe not huge managerial experience but huge footballing experience.

“He played until he was 37, which I think is a great qualification.

“He leads from the front and he asks his players to do the same. If they don’t, they have no future at the club.”