Wolves' Adama Traore harder to mark than Cristiano Ronaldo – Jetro Willems
Wolves winger Adama Traore is the fastest footballer in the world and harder to play against than Cristiano Ronaldo, insists Newcastle full-back Jetro Willems.
Willems came up against Traore in the 1-1 draw at Molineux on Saturday, and he says trying to mark the Spaniard was the toughest test of his career.
The Dutchman has faced five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo in the past, but said: "I have played against some very good players in my career, but no-one quite as fast as Traore.
"He is unbelievable, definitely a beast. Not only is he incredibly fast, he is so, so strong as well.
"He's known as the fastest man in football, and now I know that is true.
"I like to think I am quite fast too – at least I did before playing against him! That was something else."
Traore got the better of Willems on a fair few occasions.
The Magpies man, though, did not pick up a booking for fouling Traore – 26 different players have received yellow cards for taking him down so far this term – and managed to limit him more than others have.
“I have played against Ronaldo who is fast, but not that fast. Of course, he is so skilful but sometimes that is easier than being up against someone with such incredible pace," added Willems.
“I played against Ronaldo in the Euros when Netherlands played Portugal.
"But that (against Traore) is as tough an afternoon as I have had, even though I thought I did quite well."
Meanwhile, Wolves skipper Conor Coady is looking to cut out the habit of conceding first.
They have fallen behind in six successive Premier League games.
"It's something that we need to cut, but the goals – they aren't cutting us apart, it's our mistakes," said Coady.
"It's something we've got to rectify quite quick because the more we go down in games, we're chasing it.
"It's not something we want to rely on, so we need to improve quite quickly."
Wolves, of course, were able to grab a point against Newcastle despite Miguel Almiron's early goal for the visitors.
They have grabbed 15 points from losing positions – most notably coming from 2-0 down to beat Manchester City 3-2 over the festive period – which is more than anyone else in the top flight, but Coady is looking for improvement.
"It's something we need to get better at," he added.
"We're not a team that is perfect. No team in the Premier League is perfect.
"But it's something we need to improve as quick as possible because we don't want to keep doing that.
"We don't want to keep relying on character to get back into games."