Bruno Lage promises to push for Wolves improvements regardless of results

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal – Premier League – Molineux Stadium
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Wolves boss Bruno Lage has vowed he will continue to “push” his players ahead of Sunday’s trip to Tottenham.

Wanderers won five times in a run of six matches unbeaten in all competitions before suffering back-to-back 1-0 home losses in their last two outings, to Norwich in the FA Cup and then Arsenal in the Premier League.

They are eighth in the table with 34 points from 22 matches, one place and two points behind Spurs, who have played a game fewer.

Lage told a press conference: “At the end of the game (against Arsenal), I was the first man to continue to push hard everyone.

“If we’d won that game, I’d want to be a better team and better players against Tottenham.

“This is a process and this is the only thing I can promise, especially for our fans – I will push the players to continue to work hard, for them to continue to play in this way, and every time, every game will be a chance to win points.

“I understand, because we are in a good position and (people) dream about different challenges in the league, but I will just look at my squad, at the opponent, and every time to take the best decisions for the next game.”

Tottenham also head into the fixture on the back of a home defeat, having been beaten 3-2 by Southampton on Wednesday.

Spurs have recorded a win followed by a loss four times across their last eight games in all competitions.

The north London club replaced boss Nuno Espirito Santo, whom Lage succeeded at Wolves last summer, with Antonio Conte in November.

Lage said: “Every manager talks about (needing consistency). I didn’t watch the game on Wednesday night but it’s very hard, every time it’s a challenge. Southampton run a lot, they press a lot and they can create a lot of problems.

“Conte has come and has been working for around one or two months, and with games and a lot of things happen, Covid and injuries, maybe he didn’t have the time he wants and the time he desires to put the team to play in his own way.”

Lage also expressed his admiration for Conte, saying: “As you know, he was a big player and the way he won the league with Chelsea, the way they play with three defenders, it was amazing.

“It’s going to be another good challenge. He was a top professional as a player and is one of the best managers now in the world. When you are working in top teams, when you win, everywhere you go, you win titles.

“It’s going to be a challenge for the players and also for me.”

Having appointed Nuno in June, Tottenham won their first three league games of the season, including a 1-0 victory at Wolves, then lost five of the next seven and dismissed the Portuguese.

Asked if he felt sorry for his compatriot, Lage said: “Of course.

“First month it was manager of the month, and with players coming from the national team, without too much time to work, and after one or two months he gets sacked.

“Every time, what we want more as a manager, not just me, like Antonio Conte was asking – more time to continue to work, to be more consistent. We want time to work.

“We need time to put everyone to think in the same way, to play the same way.”

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