Lage | On momentum, Everton and Neves

Bruno Lage has put pressure on his players to maintain their high standards and go to Goodison Park to play their own game, like on Thursday night against Watford.

The head coach praised his players for their approach against the Hornets, and that brought about three points to get Wolves back on track in the Premier League. Next up is a clash with Everton, and having faced the Toffees earlier in the season, and watched Frank Lampard as a player, Lage knows the tough test that awaits his players on Merseyside.

On building on last time out

“That’s the target. That’s the pressure I put on my players. I did a lot of pressure at half-time because I think at 3-0 you can sleep a little bit, not just us, also our fans, it was a quiet atmosphere and I think the players realised a bit, but I said I want to score more goals.

“We need to come, it’s not about result, it’s about the performance, when we don’t have the ball, we need to be aggressive, we need to play compact, we cannot give spaces for the opponent, and when we have the ball go there. 43 points should give us the confidence to play with the ball the way we want to play.”

On facing Everton

“They have a new manager, a different way to play, sometimes they play with four defenders, sometimes with five. So, let’s see. What I know is the manager has experience, he was a top player, and Everton have top players, so it should be also like every game in the Premier League, a tough one to play, but we need to go there with courage to play our game.”

On the talent of Neves

“For me, it’s very good. I didn’t know Ruben before, it’s the first time I’ve worked with him, and it’s a big pleasure. I know he gave an interview for the club channels, and one of the things was when he said I do it ten and when I miss one my manager will be here – that’s the pressure I want.

“He wants to improve, he knows what I want from him and I think he can put us in a different level. He’s an amazing guy, a top player and deserves all the best. We enjoy what he did on Thursday, but then he’s focused to do it again against Everton.”

On Everton at home

“It was a hard game. First-half they came with a system, they played 4-4-2, after they changed to 4-3-3. I remember the game because they put Delph as a central midfielder and dominated a little bit the game. What I want is what we did on Thursday, we reacted. A manager with a lot of experience, he was a big player. We need to be aware and go there with confidence and no fear to play.”

On adapting to opposition

“I came here, you have to learn a lot of things, to know better my players, how to play in a different style that I usually didn’t play, I need to know how we play this system against the other systems teams play. Some play 4-4-2, some 4-3-3, some 5-3-2, some 5-2-3, so it’s a lot of things to do.

“After, we acknowledge the way our sources see other teams, show examples to play, create scenarios in training to experience that, film it and show to the players, then come back. Every time we have the good things we are doing, we show it.

“We have a lot of things to do, defensive, offensive, transitions, the way we start from the back, the way we link, where are the spaces, the weakness, the strongest points from the opponent – it’s a lot of things, but it’s not just me, that’s why I have a big staff and they work hard every day.”