Lage | 'We have given nothing to our fans, but they are giving everything for us'

Bruno Lage is calling on his players to give the Wolves supporters a performance to be proud of when they take on Brentford at Molineux tomorrow lunchtime.

Although Wolves earned their first win of the Premier League season last week, Lage insists his squad has not given the fans anything to be thankful for yet, despite the supporters giving his side incredible backing throughout the opening weeks of the campaign, culminating in a party-like atmosphere at Vicarage Road last weekend, which spurred on the players to pick up the three points.

On a tough test against Brentford

“Some things are different, some things are similar, but what I can see from them is that they have the work with a good base.

“They’ve had two or three years in the good work and we can see they dominate a lot of things, they know how to start from the back, they know how to link the games, how to find the space between the lines, how to create problems to the other team, and when they lose the ball they are very strong and compact and they like to press.

“But that’s the way they play all the games and that’s the way we’re preparing all week, creating the scenario of the week to be ready for that.

“Getting promoted to the Premier League was not a surprise, and we know we need to be at our best tomorrow, because they are a strong, competitive team and they have shown that with what they did before in the Championship and how they have started the competition.

“We know it’s going to be a difficult game for us because Brentford is a hard opponent to play, but also, they know they come to play against a team who can play a good performance like we can, and we have the supporters to help us to be better.

“I think we have everything to do a good game for tomorrow and for the supporters.”

On returning home to Molineux

“That’s the one thing that’s very important for us. At the moment, we have given nothing to our fans, but they are giving everything for us.

“That’s why we need to go to the matches and give everything for them because this is our time to give, and we are already receiving great support at home and also in the away games.

“It’s good to have the supporters with us, we can feel they are enjoying our games, now we need to give this performance for them to come and enjoy our games, with goals and victories.

“They have come because they like what they saw. Of course, when you come with a good performance and a victory, it is better. But in the end, the job is for the player.

“That’s why I say this is the time to offer them something because they follow us since the first day and we haven’t given them anything yet.”

On Jimenez waiting for his first goal

“I see it in a positive way – he is the striker who has created the most chances. There’s two ways to see the things. Some of the strikers scored one or two goals and didn’t create more chances than him.

“But it’s not just him, all the team are creating a lot of chances and didn’t score. But this is the way we want to play, and these are the chances we want to create against all teams. Not just the strikers, but also the forwards and the wingers, they live for goals and for creating chances.

“For some players, when you don’t score goals, you start to doubt about yourself, but Raul is an experienced guy who doesn’t come in the dark side of the striker. That’s why for me, it’s not a concern because the way you work for the team, the way he helped us to be, the way he presses for us, the way he runs for us, the way he created a lot of chances for us. He makes me happy with his work.”

On Moutinho’s future

“It was his birthday last week, and he said to me he feels 28. I’m happy with him. Every day in the training he’s training hard, so we cannot think about his age in the situation of these kinds of players. We need to look for what he’s doing on the pitch, and not just for him, but everyone, the way they work, and the way they are playing.

“[His future] is depending on him. If he’s training hard, he rests, he knows his body. If he wants to continue to play, I cannot predict the future.

“When we are enjoying what we are doing, we don’t think in the future. I see him every day with a big motivation to be a better player, to improve himself and to help the team to be better.

“I talk with him in the same way I talk with a guy who’s 18-years-old, and I saw him with a lot of experience and a lot of will to be better every day.”

On Marcal and Ait-Nouri competing for their place

“It’s not fair to compare what he [Marcal] did in two or three games compared to the ones he did last year.

“It’s not the way we start, it’s the way we do all season, and every time depending on the players. That’s why we want to see competition in the squad. Without competition, they don’t improve, they go in the easy way, they don’t work hard, and Marcal knows, they know what they have to do and after they have competition.

“Marcal has competition with a big player also, because Rayan is trying very hard every day to improve, and Marcal needs to prove himself every day. If not, we have another player in Rayan.

“That’s the kind of competition I want in my squad, that’s the environment I want to create with my players; comfortable everywhere, but when they go to the pitch, they know they need to work hard, and if not, there’s another player instead of them.”