Steve Bull: Wolves star Diogo Jota shows he is getting back to best
What a result against Besiktas on Thursday night and what a way to round off the group stages of the Europa League!
It was a pretty dull first half – I don’t think I was the only one who was wondering if they’d made the best choice to go to Molineux on a cold, wet night just before Christmas.
But what a difference in the second half as soon as Diogo Jota came on to the pitch. I’d like to bet he was sat on the bench in the first half thinking ‘I wouldn’t mind coming on here, I reckon I could get at these!’
And he certainly did when Nuno sent him on.
To get a hat-trick within 11 minutes is something special. It shows the class he’s got and that he’s getting back to what we all know he can do.
He has been blowing a bit hot and cold lately but he was definitely looking like getting back to his best on Thursday.
I can’t remember which of my hat-trick was the quickest – possibly the one at Newcastle, which I think was about 22 minutes – but I do know that sometimes if you get a quick goal your confidence soars straight away and you feel like everything is going to fly in.
That’s what happened for Diogo on Thursday; as a striker that’s a great feeling. That will give him plenty of belief. He struggled for goals last season but players all need a bit of time to adjust to playing in a higher division.
He has had that now and he’s working it out, he’ll be thinking ‘Yes, I belong at this level, I can do it’ – that goes for a few of the players.
The draw for the Europa knockout stages is on Monday and there as some pretty big names in there, Inter Milan, Benfica, even Celtic. To me, it doesn’t matter who it is, Wolves fans will follow the team wherever.
The hard part is grafting through the group stages and Wolves have done that. They’ll still want to progress further and eventually you’re going to come up against some of the giants if you do that. Bring ‘em on, I say!