Lage | 'It was about the duels, they won everything'

Bruno Lage pointed to lost duels, both defensively and offensively, as the reason Wolves were beaten by Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Two second-half goals from the Eagles brought Wolves’ five-match unbeaten run to an abrupt end, and Wolves rarely threatened to find a route back into the game with Palace on top. Determined to learn from mistakes, Lage will now sit down, study the display, and come back after the international break more prepared, particularly for the challenge of pressing teams.

On the manner of the performance

“When you look at the game, we didn’t play the way we should play. I don’t think Crystal Palace played better than us, but they did things better than us. It was about the duels, not just the defensive duels, they won everything, the offensive duels, even the second balls.

“The game is about that, so we need to play better, we are playing better, but in the meantime, we need to understand this. The duels are important, not just the defensive, but the offensive, and today we didn’t win them.”

On an even first-half

“The first 45 minutes it was a balanced game, both teams trying to understand the moment of the game, and the moment of the game was about our duels. We need to understand when we need to play and understand when we need to be stronger in defending.

“I’m disappointed with the performance. You can look at the result, we played against a strong team and took no points, but I look at the performance and think we should do better.”

On dealing with VAR

“Every time I believe in VAR, I didn’t see the image, but I believe in it. We know we come here and it’s a hard place to play, a hard team to play, they come to high press, they come for the duels, and we need to understand this. We need also, when you don’t play as a team, when it comes to situations one against one, defensive and offensive, we should do better, that’s the point of this game.”

On the plan beforehand

“The plan was to try to play our game, when we play against these teams, you have to see the spaces and also to have more time on the ball. Even for Man City it was difficult to have the ball, and for us it was difficult because they press, the three strikers up front are very strong, and they were better than us with the ball.”

On learning from the games

“Today is a thing we can learn for the future. When they come with a big ambition to press us, if they give us the space, or they give us time to play, we should manage the ball well. We need to come with a personality, to give dimension to our game, and to fight for the team.

“We’ll continue to work, our way to work is every time to look at what happened in this game, to continue to grow up, because that’s what I want. When I look back at the last six games, I cannot judge just one game, it’s a moment to learn and play better against West Ham.”