Romain Saiss is calling on his Wolves teammates to show personality on the Elland Road pitch this weekend if they are to replicate their victories over Leeds United from last season.
Coming into the game off the back of three successive Premier League wins, including the incredible ending to last week’s comeback against Aston Villa, in which the defender got off the mark in the top-flight this season, Saiss understands the challenge which awaits Wolves, but believes the team spirit which exists between the players will mean they will keep fighting until the very end to get all three points.
On heading to Leeds
“It’s going to be tough, because we know with Marcelo Bielsa, every team that he’s trained, it’s been tough to play against them.
“But sometimes they’ve also been in trouble, because we know how hard it is to press for 90 minutes for every game, so it’s just about us to be smart and clever in our game and show some personality on the pitch to win this game like we did last season.
“We need to show how we can deal with the pressure by playing and try to be aware because they have good players, especially at the front; they are fast, they have players like Raphinha and Bamford who are good in front of goal.”
On facing sides from the bottom half
“In the Premier League, all the teams are tough. Sometimes the games against the teams at the bottom of the table are harder than the games against the teams at the top, as they’re fighting for their life.
“We just have to prepare the game like we have prepared all the games since the start of the season, it doesn’t matter the opponent, we just have to think about our game, how we want to play, how we want to defend and try to get a lot of points.
“If we could win all our games, that would be great, but the most important thing is to keep our identity on the pitch and keep improving our game.”
On the team spirit within the squad
“It’s one of the strengths of this team. We’ve showed in the past, it’s happened a few times, we’ve spoke about City, but we’re talking about a lot of games where we’ve been losing and we’ve come back to the game, and then after, we win the game.
“It’s the spirit of this team and the mentality of this club. Most of the players, we have been together many, many years now, so we are like brothers. It’s easy after to fight for teammates who you really like outside of the pitch.
“We have a good relationship between all the players, we have no problems at all, so I think that’s created something between us which you can feel on the pitch.”
On coming from behind at Villa Park
“At home against City, we also went two-nil down and then we won 3-2 at the end, but I think we scored the first goal early in the second-half – we didn’t wait until the last ten minutes to score the goals, so it was a bit different against Villa, of course.
“We know a derby is a special game. Normally we play to win, not to play good football, and that’s what happened against Villa.
“We didn’t play a really good game for 75 minutes, but we never gave up and we kept pushing with what we can do in the last ten minutes and we scored three goals.
“It was amazing, because if you look at the way of the game, it was a tough game for us, but we never gave up and we kept pushing. Also, the subs made a difference.”
A message from the man who set us on our way...— Wolves (@Wolves) October 16, 2021
On scoring his first Premier League goal of the season
“I was pretty sure before the game and I thought to myself, ‘I am going to score today’ because, of course, I was thinking about the goal I missed last season, which I think all the newspapers were talking about.
“So I said, ‘Today is the right time to make them sorry and shut up,’ to show it was just a mistake, and when the ball came from Daniel [Podence], I was pretty sure to put the ball inside the goal.
“I was so happy. Even though I couldn’t celebrate the goal because it was for 2-1, but I was happy because it was the start of everything.”
On a third win in a row
“It didn’t seem impossible, we said after that goal that we still had ten minutes to play, without the extra time, so you never know what can happen.
“We’re going to keep pushing and we are good on set-pieces and maybe we could score a second goal, so this is what happened because we scored another goal five minutes later. The ball was already inside, but, to be honest, I tried my best to score instead of Coady!
“And after that, even when we came back to the draw, to 2-2, we kept pushing to win that game because we started feeling it was possible because Aston Villa started to drop more and more on the pitch, and we were feeling it was the moment to push and score a third goal.
“I don’t know if it was by Ruben or an own goal, but we were so happy at the end. The feeling was amazing.”