Bruno Lage wants Wolves to target top six as hectic fixture list looms

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

Wolves boss Bruno Lage has challenged his players to step out of their comfort zone to mount a charge for the Premier League’s top six.

Wanderers will embark upon a run of five games in 17 days against top 10 sides when they entertain sixth-placed Arsenal on Thursday evening, sitting just two points behind them and only six off the Champions League places.

Head coach Lage revealed he has asked his players if they want to bask in the relative comfort of the 34 points they have collected to date with 17 fixtures remaining, or target loftier ambitions, and that their response was just what he wanted to hear.

He said: “Now when you come to a moment where we are comfortable 34 points, that’s where the character and ambition of each one comes in, or you feel comfortable and it’s okay, ‘This is enough for me’.

“Or you can go, continue to work hard and go onto the pitch with that mentality to win more games for us.

“That’s my ambition, that’s my character, they are the things I want to transmit to my players, to my team. They need to go into the games and they need to do their best.

“After, in the end, we will see what happens, but if I saw after the games the team has the personality to have the ball or when we don’t have the ball, we fight for it and we continue to be strong and compact, good things will come to us.

“Look, I really haven’t changed anything in my behaviour. I don’t want anyone to feel relaxed, I want everyone feeling the same way. We have a lot of things to do until the end of the season.”

Wolves have won four of their last five league games but will run out against the Gunners on the back of a disappointing 1-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat by Norwich.

However Lage, who will welcome back Romain Saiss from Africa Cup of Nations duty, Trincao from Covid-19 and will make late checks on Hwang Hee-chan and long-term absentee Jonny, is not content for his side to rest on their laurels.

He said: “What the team did in December and January gives us that ambition to look up, so that’s what I want, to have my team have character, my players have character, that we have good things to conquer in the last three months.

“It’s an important period for us and what I want is to be ready and to take every time the best decisions in every game.

“We’ll go into tomorrow with, I believe, the ambition and the character we should have to play like we have played in the last months.”

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