Bruno Lage confirmed his Wolves squad currently have no issues with Covid after the latest round of Premier League testing produced the highest return of positive results since testing began – including a few at Wednesday evening opponents Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ahead of travelling to the south-east to face a Brighton side who are currently waiting for their first win in 10 top-flight matches, and one which will see a sell-out crowd of 3,000 Wolves supporters pack out the away section of the Amex, Lage – who will be missing striker Raul Jimenez following his sending off against Manchester City on Saturday – reiterated the importance of everyone getting the vaccine so football and life can continue as normally as possible.
On Covid disrupting Premier League fixtures
“We cannot think too much about that. I don’t think we’ll go back to the times where we didn’t have fans in the stadium and a long period without playing. If there’s any problem, we will stop and continue with other games, because I think we cannot stop like we stopped last season.”
“Everything is OK with us. We don’t have any Covid between us and everyone is healthy in that way.
“We’re just following the rules. We’re continuing with our meetings; everyone takes their own mask. We’re training and the people around here know they need to have some rules when we have lunch or you are in the dressing room.”
On Wolves being 100 per cent double-vaccinated
“The most important thing was at the beginning of the season, when they look the decision to fully vaccinate everyone. When I arrived here, they asked me if I wanted it, of course I wanted to be protected and I took both.
“Everyone in our building is fully vaccinated, so I think at this moment, it’s the right thing to do, but of course every time there’s a new variant of the virus, so we need to be aware of everything.
“The doctor will try to talk today or the next days about that [booster jab], and we’ll create a schedule for the players who want to take it. I saw in our WhatsApp group a mention about it.
“I don’t know the right day to take the third jab, but our doctor is starting to plan that with our players, with our staff and everyone in our building.”
On facing a Brighton side without a win in 10 matches
“I never look for that. When I watch how the other team plays, I want to see how they play when they have the ball, when they don’t have the ball. I want to understand what they have because football is moments.
“One moment you’re not scoring and then you score three goals. One moment you don’t concede goals and then the next game you suffer three or four goals. That’s why football is not about the past.
“Every game is important because every game is an opportunity to take points. We prepare games in the same way, it’s one more game, Brighton are playing very well, they have good players like us, an experienced manager.
“He had his team playing well, you see the way he started the season, so we don’t put games on different levels. Both teams are playing well. When they have the ball and when they’re finding spaces, they try to play well.”
On Raul Jimenez missing through suspension
“For sure, Raul is a top player. He’s different from the other strikers, but sometimes the most important thing is to look for the game, for what we have, and try to take the best 11 for the game.
“In the last game we changed and played with three midfielders and two strikers, that gave Adama a different role. We try to understand with our players, how can we create problems for the opponent.
“We don’t change our way to play, but we can change the position or if different players come in, they can give different things than Raul.”
On having the fourth best defence in the top-flight
“Our way of work is to improve our team and our players every time. We try to improve our best players in the best way we know, and they are doing well.
“Even when you look at the 14 goals we’ve conceded, some of the goals were a little bit strange, it was silly mistakes from our side, and I think in the way we play and the chances we are creating, the balance is not so good because I think we deserved to score more goals.
“After 15 games, we deserved three or four more goals, but this is football. In the end, we have to look at both sides and see how our team are working.”
Building up to Brighton.— Wolves (@Wolves) December 13, 2021
On taking 3,000 fans to the Amex
“That’s why I’m a happy guy and a lucky guy to be involved in this organisation, to work with my players, to manage this massive club, with that support.
“Everywhere we go, we feel the supporters are there with us and we are competing every time against top teams, big players, big managers. That’s why the Premier League is so exciting.”