Bruno Lage insists his Wolves players are confident about the new style he has his team playing and will stick to his philosophy against Manchester United this weekend, despite still waiting for a first Premier League goal to arrive.
The head coach has thrilled supporters in the early games of this season after introducing a new attacking influence at Wolves, with the team having more than 70 shots on goal in their first three matches and that style came to the fore in the second-half of Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup tie as his players hit four goals against Nottingham Forest.
With last season’s league runners-up visiting Molineux on Sunday afternoon, Lage says his players will continue to create chances and he is ‘sure’ the top-flight goals will come.
On players returning to boost the squad
“Yerson [Mosquera] and Boly started to work with us. That’s the good news. And Daniel [Podence] played 60 minutes on Tuesday night at a good level, scored one goal, so that’s three more top players with us.
“It’s very good to have them back and for them to be on the pitch and everyone to be working hard to be better.
“We also have young boys who can be good players, they are talented, and every time I tell them they have potential, but they have to work on their potential every day to become consistent.
“It’s not about whether they play in the games or not, it’s a question about how they come, with the right mentality to improve every day.”
On turning chances into goals
“Every game is an opportunity to do that. After these two games against two good opponents, Leicester and Tottenham, we are confident about the way we play, but we are unhappy because we created a lot of chances but we didn’t score and there were no points for us.
“But this is how we work. We need to continue to play like that, to create a lot of chances, because the way we create chances, we will score more goals. My way to play, my way to work, my philosophy is to do that.
“We need to create chances. We have our idea of how we want to play, see what happened in the last game, try to improve every day. Every day is training to grow up as a player and also as a team.
“Every day, that’s what I say to my players. We are an attacking team, we need to create chances and I’m sure the goals will come.”
On Jimenez’s first two games back from injury
“For me, it’s been very good. The way he worked for the team, the chances he created for us. We saw two or three good chances against Tottenham, and I see the way he works in training, the chances he creates, the goals he scored in the training – Raul is already there.
“He did a long pathway. First the recovery, then to start training and after to arrive with the right mentality, I just worked with him in the last phase, when he was ready to play and he did very well in these first games.”
On being surprised by the Premier League
“No, because I was here before as an assistant, but the surprises are that every game is a massive game, every game is like the Champions League.
“It’s very hard to play in the Premier League, which is why in the beginning, the first idea when I talked to the players was to introduce our idea, but also give the other teams the idea that we are a tough team to play against.
“That’s why we come to play with our idea every game, and every game for us is an opportunity to play as we play and to win points.”
On facing United at Molineux
“They’re a strong team. But they know they are also playing against a strong team who can play in the different ways. They are strong in attack, they are strong in transitions, they have different methods to defend, sometimes they defend with a line of five, with Matic between the defenders.
“What they did last year, it was amazing. [Solskjaer] had the opportunities to change some things he believed in, and we can see what they did last year, reaching the Europa League final.
“We watched them against Southampton, we watched [pre-season game] against Everton, we watched five or six games, so it’s not about the result because every game has its own history. It’s about the way they play, see how they are strong, but see the good things where we can put them in trouble.
“They have top players, a top manager, and they are going to be a good match for us because we are also in a good way with the way we are playing, we want to play as well against Man United. We know what we have to do.”