Lage | 'It will be exciting to be involved in this situation'

Bruno Lage will hope his team use their impressive performances away at some of the Premier League’s best this season as a reference when travelling to Anfield on Sunday.

While the narrative will belong to the title charge, Wolves will take on Liverpool looking to end a successful season on a high with a first final day victory in five years. Lage will be selecting from the same group of players against Liverpool, and although admitting it’s a pleasure to see Sunday’s opponents, he’s relishing the challenge of brushing shoulders with the best for one final time this season.

On injuries in the camp

“Just Saiss at the moment. He doesn’t recover from his injury, so Saiss, Semedo has a big injury, Max also out. Daniel is coming. Nothing new, just those things.”

On embracing the challenge

“It’s a pleasure to watch the way they play and it’s a pleasure to watch what these two teams fighting until the end for the championship. What Man City and Liverpool are doing in every competition, every time high, it’s so hard for the manager and the players. That’s why they’re so special, because special guys can do this and they are the best teams in the competition, maybe the best in the world.

“It will be exciting to be involved in this situation, and for us it’s a moment to play against a strong team, the manager is a big reference in the world, and we go there to give a different image than what we did in the last six games. We have a good record in away games, we had good performances against these kinds of teams, and we go there with an ambition to play the way we like to play in a big stadium.”

On the season overall

“I’m happy with what we did. When you look back at the last six games, we don’t have the points we should have, so the emotions are a little bit mixed. We did a good season, but when we put the standards in that position and we are near to reaching European football, after it’s a little bit frustrating. At the start of the season, we had the ability to learn the evolution of the game like we like to play.

“Between September, October and November, some good performances, some bad performances, the results were there. We arrived at one point in the middle of December, the game against Chelsea at home, we did a good performance and after that we were very solid until the end of February. We had big problems in January, we had some problems with injury and Covid, one day we had just ten players to play, and we needed to call Toti from Grasshoppers, and he played and we won.

“There was a period we played Arsenal and West Ham away. We were winning at Arsenal and lost 2-1 and 1-0 against West Ham. We lost six points, so it was hard, because in that moment we were talking about fourth place. After, we came back with a good performance, Leicester, Everton, Watford, we had a good game against Leeds, maybe one of the best performances, and with the red card we saw the points go. Every time we find solutions and unfortunately for us in the last six games, we didn’t find solutions.”

On Liverpool being tough to beat

“It’s very hard for us, but at the same time, it’s very hard for them because they are doing this since the first day in four competitions. For us, it’s the target to come to the end being a little bit more near West Ham to have the chance to put more pressure on our players. We still have our targets and we need to go there to try to win the game.

“With that victory, we can reach 16 victories in the Premier League which is important for us, we can stay in the position we’re in at the moment and every time it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge for them because they know that every team in the world wants to beat them.”

On the women’s and under-23s’ play-off

“The good thing for us is that we can just support them. When I voted for the best manager, I had three names and one of them was Dan [McNamara]. He’s done a fantastic job with the team and everyone here is excited for the match, so the best of luck. Also, the best of luck to our under-23s who have a big final on Monday.

“They did a fantastic season, they were amazing during the season with us, they helped us to improve in the training. Sometimes we had 12 or 13 players in training and the kids every time were there to help us to train in a proper way. They went to the final of the cup, they lose on penalties and now they have another final and another big day in front of them, so best of luck as well to them.”