Romain Saiss knows the festive period is a crucial point in the Premier League season and a set of positive results can provide momentum for a strong second half of the campaign.
Wolves head into the Christmas period wounded from defeat to Burnley on Monday, but hungry to make amends in two eye-catching festive fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Spurs head to Molineux on Sunday, before Wolves are on the road to Old Trafford two days later, and Saiss, who has made a habit of scoring around the Christmas period, is focused on bouncing back and building some consistency.
On two huge games coming up
“We always play good against big teams. It was the same last season, we played City and Liverpool in three days. This season it’s Tottenham and United.
“I know we’ll be ready because we want to bounce back from the game against Burnley and I think the best thing is to play a big team of this league. We’re going to prepare for this game this week, to be ready against Tottenham, and straight after against United, to take the six points.”
On a bad night at the office at Burnley
“It was a bad game for us, we were really disappointed, especially just after the win against Chelsea, when we played well. Unfortunately, we didn’t play well against Burnley, we know winter is coming, with a lot of tough games, and I think it would have been good to be ready for this period, but it was a bad game.
“I think we prepared well, but too many things were not good. We started the game pretty well but, unfortunately, we conceded two poor goals and didn’t score many. We created not many chances to unbalance them. We tried to push until the end, but it was not enough.”
On a tight Premier League this year
“It looks like all the teams are very close, from the bottom to the top, but we have to stay in a good position in the league, like we did in the last two years, to be ready to fight for the final games of the season. We’re going to try to do it.
“We know this period is really important for the rest of the season, even if the season is still really long. Now, we have enough experience to deal with it. I hope the next few weeks will be better for us.”
On his festive goalscoring past
“Unfortunately, last season and this we play on the 27th [not 26th]. I’m going to ask the Premier League next season to play on Boxing Day so I hope I can score. Of course, I would like to score against Tottenham and to score more goals to help the team.
“For a defender, it’s always good to score goals because it doesn’t happen a lot. I will try, I think I have a lot of chances every game on set pieces, so I try to improve and progress to score more goals and help the team.”
On finding goals from elsewhere
“We saw since the beginning of the season, everybody can score goals, it can be me or the other centre backs, the midfield or the players in front. We know the importance of Raul [Jimenez] because he scored a lot of goals for us, but it’s about us finding the solution and all the players scoring goals, so we don’t think, ‘Raul is not here, we’re not going to score goals’. We have to find the solution until he comes back with us.”
On difficult circumstances this year
“I think it’s the same problem for all the teams with the situation, it’s tough for all the clubs. We can see most of the clubs have problems with Covid, so you have to adapt yourself to the situation, find the best solution to solve the problem.
“It happened a few weeks later with me and Conor [Coady] out because of Covid. The situation’s the same for everybody, all the players are involved, and we have to give the good answer to the coach and to help the team. We have to solve the problem together and be more consistent in the game and try to have a good say on the game.”