Ruben Neves believes Wolves’ superb second-half performance against Southampton was at the level which the teams needs to be performing at in all their matches.
The midfielder admitted that the team’s display and his own performance in the first period at St Mary’s was ‘horrible’ and they needed to reorganise and regroup at halt-time, which they did, coming out of the break looking a different proposition entirely, with Neves’ penalty setting them up for a match-winning goal from Pedro Neto.
On an impressive second-half display
“It means a lot for us. It’s a huge three points, away from home in a really difficult place to play. Southampton have a really good team and play really well, so we’re really happy with the three points.
“In the first-half, we were not the team we want to be. For me as well, I lost a lot of balls and I was really struggling with the pass. We worked together at half-time, we spoke about it and we knew we had to do much better to win this game, and the second-half is the way we want to play every time.
“We were the team we want to be in the second-half, it was a great second-half for us, because we didn’t concede any chances for Southampton, we scored twice, we controlled the game with the ball, without the ball, pressing, aggressive, so congratulations to all the team.
“It gives us confidence, but we still need to work a lot to keep improving and that’s our goal for the rest of the season.”
On the changes made at half-time
“We knew we were not playing well and for me, it was a horrible first-half. We maybe started the game well, but I lost a lot of balls in that first-half, really bad passes, and as a team we were not able to play, not able to press as well, so we needed to focus, we needed to talk at half-time and we did it.
“We reorganised at half-time, we spoke with each other because we knew we needed to do much better to get the three points and I think that second-half means a lot for us.
“That second-half shows what we want to be every time, that second-half shows how we were as a team before, so we’re still the same and we’ll try to do the same every time.
“I’m very proud of our second-half, I’m very proud of the team, I’m very proud of the spirit and that’s how we want to play every game in the future.”
On his game-changing penalty
“It was a big moment for the team. It’s my job to score it, it’s my job to help the team, and thankfully I scored it.
“The team have a lot of confidence in me from that aspect of the game, and I train for that. We need to train all the aspects of the game and need to be prepared for everything. Every time we have a penalty, I’m confident, so it was a big moment.
“Fortunately, I scored and helped the team in the game, but I thought we did a fantastic second-half. Our attitude, our spirit, it was really good and a huge three points for us.”
On Neto’s stunning winning goal
“Pedro’s been a fantastic player for us since he came. This season, I think for me he’s been the best player that we have in the squad.
“He still needs to improve, as does everyone, because we always have something that we can improve, but if he keeps playing like that then he’s going to be a big player in the world of football.
“We are really lucky to have him in our team because he can give us a lot of good things that are not easy to find in a player.”
On getting revenge after FA Cup loss
“No, it’s not about revenge. Of course, we want to improve from one game to the other, but we do that all the time, no matter the opposition.
“Today we win, but we want to improve for the next game as well. Last time in the FA Cup we lost, unfortunately, and we went out of a very beautiful competition.
“We were sad after the game, but we knew we needed to come here and give a good answer and that’s what we did.”