Daniel Podence is enjoying his new role in the Wolves attack, with the forward’s versatility proving vital to the unpredictability Nuno Espirito Santo has been introducing to his system in recent weeks.
The Portuguese international has been utilised as a striker, number 10, winger and attacking midfielder since Wolves changed to play with a four-man defence last month, and with two goals to his name this season, Podence understands the importance of his goalscoring abilities in whichever position he is asked to play.
On bouncing back against Chelsea
“Against Aston Villa, it was a difficult game to lose, because it’s a team that are close to us in the table and are close to us in location.
“We played much better than they did and we had countless goal opportunities, but at the last minute we ended up losing.
“It was very hard for us, but we have to keep a clear head, because we still have a lot of games ahead of us, and we have to look to the future because you can’t do anything about the past, but we can learn from these defeats.
“Fortunately, this is a very cohesive group and, despite being defeats, it helps us to return to winning ways.”
On facing the Blues this evening
“It is a great team, nobody can have doubts about them, but we also have a great team, with excellent players. Therefore, we can compete, and we will have our strategy to win the game.
“Nobody in football is unbeatable. We are much better at home, so I think we have a good chance of winning.”
On fitting into the system
“For me, the important thing is to play. I don't care if I’m a midfielder, a striker or a winger, what I want is to play. The coach knows the team better than I do and he knows which position I can be most useful.
“In my entire career I have always played as a winger, but now I play in a more central position, behind the striker, and ahead of the midfielders, and I like this position.
I'm happy because I'm playing in a league that brings a lot of good things to my career. I am playing against great players and alongside great players. It is everything I dreamed of since I was a kid.
“We are a good team; both the team and me individually, and we can do a lot of good things this season, but we are growing together. I'm growing game by game myself, and I’m happy to help the team to become better every day.”
On importance of scoring goals
“Winning games is about scoring goals. I'm much better at goal now than I have been in the past two years, I’m growing every week and I believe I can still help more.
“It is December now and I believe that we will all improve and grow a lot until the last month of the season, and that is when we can see where we are. Hopefully it will be good things for the team and for me.”
On reuniting with Jimenez
“It was a big moment for us and seeing him on the training pitch was a joy for us because we remember the last time we had with him. I've been talking to him every day.
“Everyone knows that Raul is a great player. He’s very useful for us, because he scores goals and helps us a lot. But now he cannot play, and we have Fabio.
“He's a kid who always wants to learn and has a lot of quality. I think this is his moment. He can help us, and if the team is in a good moment, we can help him too.”