Leander Dendoncker admitted Wolves were unfamiliar with Leeds United’s unique style of play on Monday night, which made their victory all the more impressive.
Wolves took their time finding a way into the game, but kept Leeds at bay in the process, before pressing down on the accelerator after the break, leading to Raul Jimenez’s winner. The Belgian midfielder believes few teams will win at Elland Road this season and he sought advice from his international teammate to help prepare for Wolves’ trip there on Monday evening.
On facing a different approach
“We knew before the game it was going to be very tough and we felt that in the first 20 minutes. That’s the way they play, they go man against man, and I don’t think any team is used to that.
“Kevin De Bruyne told me, as they played them before the international break, that it would be very hard because they go man to man, and he also said after 30 minutes they leave spaces, and I think that’s what you could see.
“I know the first-half wasn’t really good from our side, because we were looking how to find the spaces, and how to deal with them. To get three points at Leeds is very difficult and I don’t think many teams will do it.”
Immense in the middle of the park.— Wolves (@Wolves) October 20, 2020
On how Wolves overcame Leeds
“It was very tough. Especially the first 20 minutes, where I think we suffered a lot. The gaffer changed pretty quick the formation we were playing in, and we passed with two midfielders instead of three and I think it worked better after that.
“The gaffer wanted us to be very tight in the midfield and not give them too much space, but the danger came more from the sides, so I think that’s why he changed and put Pedro [Neto] and Daniel [Podence] more on the sides, to defend better, and I think we managed pretty well after that.
“I think you could feel at the end of the first-half, we were trying to get out more with the ball and we did that. I think in the second-half we controlled way better, we started creating chances, and I think in the end it was deserved. To take the three points here is very difficult, so I think we can be very happy with the three points.”
On holding Leeds at bay
“They didn’t have a lot of chances. They had the ball and offensively have some very good players, who can make actions one versus one, and the crosses are very good as well. Their strikers are technically very strong, but I think we dealt with it pretty well.
“Credit to the whole team for that, especially for the defence. Against Fulham we held a clean sheet, and we did it again, and that’s where it starts, keep the zero behind, and then, of course, we created some chances.
“Daniel had two big chances, Saiss had a goal cancelled, and it was a close call, so in the end we can be satisfied. We have to keep on working hard, two home games now and then Leicester away before the international break again, so we have to keep going.”
On Saiss’ disallowed goal
“He was really disappointed with that. He was looking at the images and it was a close call. It’s a pity, it’s a shame, because the finish was outstanding – it was such a nice goal. He’s playing in a position which is not the easiest for him, but he’s doing really well and is working really hard. Max Kilman did really well as well, their understanding is good, they talk a lot, they try to communicate, and it’s important.”
On momentum building
“That’s what we’ll try. We have two home games now and we have to keep working hard. Every game is a very tough one, now it’s Newcastle and Palace, we have to take it game by game, try to recover well now and be ready for the next one.”