With just over two weeks to go until Wolves get their Premier League campaign underway, Bruno Lage is making sure his players are working hard to bring success to the club and its supporters.
The head coach and the first-team squad have returned the UK following almost a fortnight in the sunny Spanish south coast and with the opening top-flight game away to Leicester City on the horizon, Lage has been imparting his ‘idea’ on his players under the watchful eye of his new team of coaching staff.
On his first six weeks at Wolves
“First of all, I’m very proud to be here and thankful for this big opportunity in my career. It’s been a busy first six weeks. I want to know all about the club, I want to know every corner, I want to know every person, because I want to create something unique with the staff of all departments.
“It’s been a busy six weeks, and also with the training, but at the same time, I’m also very happy with the work of everyone.”
On settling into Wolverhampton
“Not yet. Within these six weeks, I’ve been between the hotel and the training ground, training twice a day, so for now, I need to put everything on order, work hard, then we have time to do the other things.”
On previous knowledge of the club
“When I started at Sheffield Wednesday in 2015, at that time, two or three players who I worked with at Benfica started to come here; Helder Costa, Joao Teixeira. I followed them because I’d worked with them since under-10, they worked with me for four or five years, so after my match I wanted to see what they did.
“I remember Joao started the season very well here but he didn’t have the same luck and moved to Nottingham Forest. Helder was very happy, he did two or three years very good and now he’s still doing well at Leeds.
"Since then, I was following, and I saw the big change [of the club] under Nuno. But now, it's important for me to see the eyes of the players, I need to see them on the pitch every day, I need to see them training every day, the ambition and the motivation to keep going, because football is about working hard every day to bring success for the fans and for the people who work for the club.”
Catching up 🗣 pic.twitter.com/4Z0iuLSXFH— Wolves (@Wolves) July 28, 2021
On getting his squad together in Marbella
“It was very good, because when I planned the pre-season, I planned it in two periods – the first three weeks and then the next three weeks.
“In the first three weeks, I tried to know everyone, I tried to know the players, to understand the dynamics and preparing everything with the guys here.
“Now I have all the squad with me, I want to know [Conor] Coady better, I want to know Adama [Traore] better, I want to know Leander [Dendoncker] better, and I want to create a good energy.
“We now need to train with our idea, and that’s why we’re training in the morning and the afternoon, that’s why we have meetings in the morning and afternoon, so everyone can understand our idea.”
On bringing his own staff to Wolves
“In the youth at Benfica, I worked with Luis [Nascimento] and Alex [Silva], and have a good relationship with them – Luis is my brother and Alex is my friend, so we create a good dynamic between the three of us.
“I worked with Tony [Roberts] when I was in Swansea. I had the idea that when I got a chance to work in the UK, I would invite him to work with me because I think we have the same ideas. The same ideas I have for the team, he has for the goalkeepers.
“Jhony [Conceicao] and Diogo [Camacho], they are two analysts, because in my way of working, I like to analyse everything; the training, our games, the opponent, and that’s why I bring all the staff. I met Jhony in Dubai and worked with him at Shabab Al-Ahli Club, and I also knew Carlos [Cachada] when he was working here in the UK before.
“With all of my staff, we create a good dynamic. I’m the head coach and the manager, so I can control all the processes, but Luis is more the guy who works on the little things and little details in the training, Alex is the guy who controls everything about the training, Carlos and Tony, they work on all the set-pieces - offensive and defensive.”
On his expectations for the season
“To improve day by day. That’s why I’m working them very hard every day. We need to improve in training, we need to create that competitive squad, and the way we work, you can already see good strengths, good intensity, good dynamic, good spirit, a competitive squad, top players with a good mentality and guys that want to continue to bring success for the club.
“We can do something great, but we need to put these two things together, and work hard every day, and after we’ll see where we go.”