Lage praises Mexico for Jimenez decision

Bruno Lage has thanked the Mexican Football Federation for their co-operation in allowing Raul Jimenez to be available for Wolves’ Premier League fixture with Watford this weekend.

Jimenez did not travel to Mexico for international duty last week due to the country currently being situated on the UK Government’s Covid-19 red list, which would have meant the forward carrying out a 10-day hotel quarantine on his return to England.

Because of this decision, the Mexican FA enquired about Jimenez being banned from playing for Wolves under FIFA regulations, but the club have reached a compromise with Mexico, meaning he has been cleared for selection by Lage for Saturday’s match, with the decision pleasing the head coach.

On Mexico’s decision

“It’s a good decision by everyone, especially by Mexico. I didn’t talk to them personally, but I know the club talked and we arrived at a good solution.

“We’re thankful that we can use Raul because the game is about putting the best players on the pitch. I want to see the best players from Watford and I want to see the best players from our side to play in the game.

“Everyone understands that these are difficult times, but at the same time, for the fans, and for both clubs, it’s special to see the best players on the pitch.

“For us, we’re very happy to receive that news, and for Mexico to make a decision which will help us in this situation.”

On avoiding the situation in the future

“The best thing is to see what will happen in the next month, because I think the people in charge, and the federations in charge, will arrange a good solution to everyone.

“I don’t know [if fewer players will travel in October break], but we have one month to understand what really is going to happen and I think the people will take the best decision.

“It’s difficult times, and I think after this first international break, we have one month or three weeks and plenty of time to understand and to find the best solutions for October.”

On Jimenez’s season so far

“I know Raul before from Benfica and the way we played. When I work with him now, it’s not a surprise for me because I know his value, but first of all as a person, he’s a top man.

“He’s one of the good examples we have here in Wolves, that you can be a top player and a top man.

“Defensively, he’s the first guy who works to press the opponent team to push to be more solid and compact, and offensively, in the first three games he’s created a lot of chances to score goals.

“I don’t put pressure on him to score goals, I just say to him, ‘Be happy again, smile, to play your game, and work hard every day to create chances’, because the goals will come, for sure.”