Ruben Neves believes when the Wolves players have fully adapted to Bruno Lage’s ideas, they’ll be a match for most sides, and hopes further steps have been taken ahead of Saturday.
The old gold make the short trip to Villa Park this weekend, knowing a raucous atmosphere from both sets of supporters will suitably mark the first West Midlands clash with supporters since November 2019. Neves and Wolves shone that day at Molineux, but this is a different Wolves, under different guidance in Bruno Lage, and the midfielder is enjoying learning a new way of playing and believes Wolves are improving each week.
On changing to Lage’s game
“We did a fantastic job during the four years with Nuno, everyone saw that we achieved amazing things, but we got to a time where we needed a change and I think for Nuno as well, he needed change. Lage brought us a different way to play.
“When you play for four years with the same coach and then you change, it’s a motivation to learn again, so it was really good for everyone, for the club, and I think we still need to improve, because when we get the ideas 100 per cent, we’ll be a really hard team to play against.”
On the start to the season
“It was a hard start for us. The first three games against three big teams, some of the biggest in the Premier League at the moment, we had zero points, but I think we deserved a little bit more than that, because of how we played in the three games, but mainly the two at home.
“It’s football. These kinds of things happen a lot of times, but we knew we were doing a great job, we knew we were playing well, and we knew the wins would come because, of course when you play like we were playing, you are closer to the win. We didn’t score, they had one or two chances and they scored. It’s really hard, but we knew the wins would come.
“We needed to react against Watford away, it’s always a tough game to play, but we did really well, I think we did a very good game there and deserved the win. Our worst game of the season until now was against Brentford at home, we didn’t play enough to win the game, but the Premier League is about bouncing back when you lose, and we did it really well against Southampton and Newcastle.”
On attention on Villa
“It will be really tough, like all the games in the Premier League, but of course it’s special because it’s a derby and every time we go there it’s a fantastic game. I’m really looking forward to it, now with a full stadium as well it’s amazing, they have a good atmosphere and our fans will be there for sure, so it’ll be a great game and I hope we do a very good game for our fans to watch.”
On still enjoying life here
“I’m enjoying it a lot, to be honest. I really like to be here, my family likes to be here as well – it’s helped me a lot because I know they’re comfortable and I can focus on playing my football.
“Of course, the people in Wolverhampton are amazing, the atmosphere in the stadium is amazing, so we have all the conditions to be happy and play well. Last season was hard for everyone, we didn’t play well, but now the changes were good for everyone, it was a good time to change.”
On playing alongside Moutinho
“Everyone would enjoy playing with Joao, he’s a fantastic player, I learn every day with him. It’s really good to play with him and I’m really proud to say that I played all these years with Joao alongside me.”