Neto | Molineux welcome ‘gave me goosebumps’

Pedro Neto described the welcome he received from the Wolves supporters as ‘unbelievable’ after the winger returned to action after more than 10 months away due to injury.

The Portuguese’s displays were one of the highlights of the 2020/21 season, which was brought to an abrupt halt away at Fulham last April, but Neto was back on the Molineux pitch on Sunday night as he came off the bench in the victory over Leicester City, and he insists he is full of confidence to return the way he was performing before his lay-off.

On his first Molineux experience for almost a year

“It was unbelievable. It gave me goosebumps. 10 months after some difficult times I am finally back.

“The best scenario it was at home and an even better scenario would have been with a goal, but I am very happy to be back and to hear the stadium singing my name was unbelievable.

“I felt very good. I felt confident and all the work I have done since my injury has been amazing, but I will continue to work. My mentality was always there, I will never change. 

“I will learn a lot, but with the mentality I have, when I come on the pitch, I have to come with full confidence to do what I do normally.”

On a chance to score with the last kick of the game

“In my head I always had the mentality of going for goal. It was my first minutes back and I will be honest, I was a little bit tired. 

“I only saw that Schmeichel was out of the goal when he ran past me when I was running with the ball, so I then thought I should shoot. I tried, but I was a little bit tired.”

On the difficulty of the last 10 months

“It was difficult, I will be honest. Sometimes we think that nothing will happen to us and only when we they do happen you have to put your feet on the earth and realise you have a long way to go. 

“When I was doing the recovery very well I had a setback. It was a difficult time. I wouldn't say it was more difficult than the first one, because that one was a shock and it's a rare injury for a footballer, but the day I had the setback I just thought, 'OK, I have one more challenge that I have to go through'. 

“I worked harder than I was working and now I’m back. But my mentality now is to, first, go step by step. I have to get more game time, because training is not the same as playing, but I am really confident in what I can do. 

“I am really confident that with time I will be arrive at my full form and I will be better than I was before.”

On returning to the squad

“During these 10 months it was very difficult and I worked very hard a lot. I had difficult times but now I’m back and I’m very happy.

“I am here to help the team because they are doing really well and our mentality is to keep doing better, and better and better. We are improving and I am back to help the team. 

“I will do my work every day and I am here to help. My mentality, as I always say, is to be the best. I am here to help the team to give my best and play my football. I want to enjoy my football. Just give me time to come back and play my football.”

On working under Lage

“He’s helped me, of course. At the beginning, I didn’t have a lot of his ideas because I was doing my recovery in Portugal, but when I came back he was there to help me. 

“When I started training, he gave me the feedback I needed to come back. He gives a lot of confidence to the players and you can see that in the way we play. He's very good. 

“The coach has also brought a lot of ideas and if we do what he wants, we have the players to do well. The mentality and the quality are both there and the ideas are also there. 

“We have to put those ideas and quality on matches, so I was not surprised at how well the team was doing.”