Lage | On squad rebuild, new players adapting and Southampton’s threat

Bruno Lage has called for Wolves’ new signings to be given time to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League after the rebuilding job of the first-team squad came to an end on Thursday evening.

Just as the transfer window closed for another four months, Mali midfielder Boubacar Traore was announced as Wolves’ final incoming for the summer, but having made 16 changes to his first-team squad from last season – including incomings, departures, and loan players returning – Lage is calling for patience from supporters to allow the group to develop and grow into the team everyone wants to see.

On what Traore brings to Wolves

“He’s a player that the club has followed for a long period and now it was the right time to come. Now we are rebuilding the squad and he can be a player like Yerson [Mosquera], like Toti, like the young players we are bringing to the club to adapt to the Premier League and he can be important for the club.

“Usually, he plays as a number eight, as a midfielder, he’s very strong to recovering the ball and also he’s strong to build the game. That’s the real strengths that he has. In that position, he’s very strong to recover, he can give us a big impact in that part of the pitch.

“Now we are waiting for him. The deal is done and now we are waiting for him to get his visa ready and maybe come in the middle of the next week.”

On rebuilding the squad

“The big lesson we take from last year was what happened in the last games when we missed important players, and when you look around, you don’t have players to replace. That was the scenario in the first three games.

“The plan was to the build the squad, where when you look, we have plenty of solutions – if we miss one, we have another one in our hands. The signs the team are giving to me are that we will do better than last year. It’s so clear for me, and I feel that confidence every day with my work.

“When everyone was asking about the squad three weeks ago and everyone was worried, that’s why I was saying to the fans to have patience and we’re going to create, we’re going to rebuild the squad and bring top players who can help us.

“It didn’t happen in the pre-season, it didn’t happen when we arrived here, it didn’t happen in the first three games, but it’s happened in the last weeks. We bring top players to rebuild the team.”

On giving new signings time

“The fans had patience for us to rebuild the squad and now we need time for the players who have come in just the last two weeks to adapt to a new club, to a different country, to the way we train, to the way we play, and also the intensity of the Premier League, especially in this week when we played three games in six days.

“If you’re buying a player, you cannot make pressure. Sasa came, yesterday he worked with eight players, and today we didn’t work, so didn’t practice with the whole team, so I cannot put pressure on him. It takes time for them to come, to adapt, to know the teammates, everything.

“We were talking with Matheus in the morning, he recovered well, but he’s running more high speeds than before, because it’s a different championship. So, if you’re running more high speeds than before, you need more time to recover. To adapt, he needs time.

“Guedes came from the Spanish league, and every game we have to be at the limit because every opponent comes with everything. It’s a question of time. I know the club has that culture, to give time to the players to be here. Most of the players leaving now, Boly, Leander, Coady, the guys who arrived here, they spent a number of years at the club, it’s a cultural thing, the club gives time for players to adapt because we invest a lot, we will protect them and provide them the best environment.”

On positive signals

“The signals are there because we’re doing good games and creating a lot of chances and, like I said about the transfers, like I said last year, the good things will come and the goals will appear. The most important thing is the way the team are playing.

“If you are playing well, and the signals are there, if the players believe in the way we are playing, every game we are creating chances when it’s just us in front of the goalkeeper and we need to put the ball in the net. It’s good chances to score goals and I believe the things will come, as they did in the last year.”

On welcoming Southampton to Molineux

“They’re a strong team. You can see the way they started the season, especially what they did in the last game. What I hope to see in every Premier League game, especially when we play against Southampton, because I know they are a very strong team, big mentality to play every game with a higher tempo and it’s going to be a hard game. But we’re going to be ready. I think with the signals that the team are giving, tomorrow, in Molineux, with our fans on our back to support us, we’re going to do another good game.

“We know the team very well. We had the opportunity to watch most of the games that they did, we know the mentality of the manager. They’ve had a big mentality for the last years, they are a tough team to play against, and we need to understand the best moments, the best space to exploit, and be careful of their style of play and weathers. They have a threat, the last game is a good example, Chelsea were winning, but they didn’t give up and won the game.”