Pedro Neto: I'll give my all from the start or from the bench for Wolves

Goal hero Pedro Neto insists he was happy to play the role of Wolves ‘super-sub’ in Monday’s draw with Southampton.

Pedro Neto of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1. (AMA)
Pedro Neto of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1. (AMA)

The 20-year-old ace had started every Premier League match this season before finding himself on the bench for the visit of the Saints.

But he responded in the best possible way, netting his second goal of the season during an excellent 20-minute cameo to salvage a 1-1 draw for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team.

Asked if he had been disappointed to find himself out of the starting line-up, Neto replied: “Whether I start on the bench or I start in the XI, I always want to do my best to help the team.

“It’s not disappointing [to not start]. We are all ready to start, but I came from the bench and did my best to help the team and I did.

“I do my job and that’s what I did. I try to help the team, I give all for the team, and I felt we had a very good game, but we deserve more.

“The three points would have been good for us, but, unfortunately, we didn’t get them. We are sad about the result, but we have to focus on the next one. The manager just told me to do my best. That’s what I will always do, whether I am on from the start or coming off the bench.”

Neto, who bagged a first senior cap and goal for Portugal during the recent international break, showed quick reactions to turn the ball past Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy after Raul Jimenez’s shot had cannoned off the post.

But he admitted his lack of celebration was due to not knowing whether or not he was in an offside position.

Neto saw goals against both Liverpool and Manchester United chalked off last season by the video assistant.

And he said: “I didn’t celebrate because last year with VAR for me was very bad. When I scored the goal, it was all so fast, I didn’t celebrate because I wasn’t sure what the decision would be.

“We have to be alive throughout the game. When a partner of ours shoots, we have to be here for the rebound, to try to score and that is what happened.

“It came quickly at me and I was looking at the ball, but I had in my head that if Raul shoots, I was going into the box to get it off the rebound. It was really quick, but I was there to get the goal.”

While pleased with his goal, Neto admitted frustration at the final result as Wolves were unable to find a winner despite piling on the pressure in the closing stages.

The result was achieved despite a disrupted build-up which left Nuno without Romain Saiss and skipper Conor Coady, the latter of whom missed a league match for the first time in three years. That prompted a switch to an unfamiliar four-man defence for the first time in Nuno’s reign.

Neto said: “It was different. At the beginning it was a little bit strange, but then as the game went on I think we did very well. For us, it was not easy because normally we play with a back five.

“We played with the back four, but I think that whatever formation we play, we always want to play very well, and we try to enjoy all the games that we do.

“I was very happy (with the goal), though not happy with the result. Sometimes the game is not fair but we are happy with the performance.”

Coady has now returned to training ahead of Sunday’s trip to Arsenal though the status of Saiss, who is self-isolating after contracting coronavirus, remains uncertain.

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