Bruno Lage says he’s “very happy” with Maximilian Kilman, after the defender committed his future to Wolves, on the eve of Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
Capping a fine week which began with his first goal for Wolves, Kilman signed a new contract on Friday, having played every minute of action under Lage this term. As well as the contract, Lage was speaking positively after the performance against Everton, but now wants the same levels to be hit when his team take to the Selhurst Park.
On Kilman’s fine progress
“He’s been doing well since the first day. If you look back, the way we started pre-season, we didn’t have the international players with us and the guys started to work hard, trying to understand our ideas, and Max, I could see him working hard to take his chance. When we started the season with the problems of [Willy] Boly, he played, and I think since then he’s been doing well.
“He had the game against Brentford, and the way we suffered the second goal, but these kind of things happen, especially with young guys, but that comes with experience. I’m very happy with him, he knows he need to be every time on top, because we want every time our players at their best when they go to the games.”
On players continually improving
“That’s the big question, not just for Max, but all the players – if you want to move on, to make one more step to arrive in a different position in the table, we need to be more consistent. After Leeds I talked with the players about that, how we can go, not just individual players but the team, not just at clubs but international teams, what you can do more to be better and improve your career.
“Not just for Max, it’s for everyone, to do solid things, that’s what I want from my team. After a good performance, we want to be solid, bring another good performance and that’s how we grow up, not only as a team, but as players and managers.”
On the start to the season
“What we did until now belongs to the past, I want one more good game, one more good performance, more points for us. It’s not important to look at the table at the moment, what’s most important is the path I want to take with the players and the team. When good things come, OK it was good, now put it behind and look forward.
“I don’t change because of the result, I go straight away with my ideas, the players need to work hard to understand what I want. We learn with what happened in the last game and we try to make the best decisions for the next one.”
On Jimenez’s form
“Since the beginning, one year ago, after he was injured and the problems he had, since the first day I saw him, he started training with us, I saw him with a big motivation to do a good season. In the first games he didn’t score goals, he didn’t create too many chances, the main thing from my side was to give him confidence because Raul is giving more than goals.
“If you look at our second goal he scored [against Everton], our team didn’t touch the ball, we had 70 per cent ball possession in the first-half, and if you look at that goal, it was a collective goal of hard work, everyone is pressing the man of the ball, then an Everton player made a mistake and Raul was there to catch the ball.
“They wanted to play with the goalkeeper and Raul smelt the goal and scored. These are the good things Raul can give to us and that’s why he’s so important for a team who wants to be with a high press like we want.”
On the next targets
“The target is to be consistent. What I want is to put another performance near this one, that’s the main point, that’s the target, because the players are working hard, we spend a lot of time here at our training ground trying to improve every day.
“Learn from the problems the other teams sometimes cause against us, the different systems, we see what we can do better and in the game it’s our time to play, we to be there to make a good performance, that’s what I want from my team. Every time we are competing against strong teams, and we need to be consistent every time with a good performance.”
On the strength Palace
“When you look at the squad of Crystal Palace, you can see Patrick Vieira has six big solutions to play in front. So, tomorrow he has three to play against us and three on the bench. I worked with Jordan Ayew at Swansea, and I know the quality of the player. Here, every team has top players.”
On injured players returning
“Marcal’s still out. He needs to continue to work and to recover. He has a little injury and I think after the international break he’ll be ready to start training and to play. Pedro [Neto] was with us today in the building, it’s good to see him around – Pedro, Jonny, [Bruno] Jordao are working hard to come back but we know we need to wait more time for them.”