Wolves boss Bruno Lage: Raul Jimenez deserves everything

Bruno Lage insists star striker Raul Jimenez ‘deserves everything’ after coming back from a serious injury and finding his feet again in the Premier League.

Bruno Lage (Getty)
Bruno Lage (Getty)

On the same day a documentary was released detailing his comeback from the fractured skull he suffered a year ago, Jimenez scored the only goal to hand Wolves a win over high-flying West Ham.

It marked his third goal of the season after returning to action, following an injury that could have ended his career or even taken his life.

He swept home a wonderful finish beyond Lukasz Fabianski and Lage was full of praise for his star man.

“You are talking about one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League,” Lage said.

“Fabianski is 36 but he’s still at this good level and Raul is there.

“It’s so important for you guys to watch the goals from Raul and, at the same level, the way he works for the team.

“The way he pressed and worked, that’s why I’m happy with him. He works hard for the team, not just in the offensive part but in the defensive part.

“The documentary came and now we can understand what he lived in the last year. He deserves everything that he’s living at the moment.”

Before the game Lage made a big point of calling for more consistency from his players.

Not only have Wolves struggled with that in their fixtures – by following up a good win over Everton with a poor display at Crystal Palace – but they have also struggled for it within games.

But against West Ham they dominated the ball for large periods and were relentless, something Lage was delighted with.

“I am happy with the players,” he added.

“We spent the last week looking at consistency and the two games against Everton and Crystal Palace and we came again with a good performance and a good result.

“I am happy because it was a challenge to play well. When you play against a team like West Ham you need a good performance to win.

“I said to the players before the game, ‘go and play the way you’re training’, because last Thursday I went home with a good feeling because of the way we were training and prepared for the game.

“We came with a big confidence to make a good performance. We enjoyed it and passed that emotion to our fans to go home with that feeling. They did that.”

West Ham have a particularly strong midfield with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek playing a big part in the side’s impressive start to the season.

But Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho did an outstanding job at marshalling the midfield and distributing to the flanks.

“Sometimes the plan goes well and sometimes it doesn’t, but me and the players understand well the way they play,” Lage said.

“They are strong when they have the ball to attack the channels. We pressed to not concede those spaces.

“Also the transition, the way they press especially in the middle, they win the ball. The work the three midfielders do is very good.

“They press and have fast players to make good transitions and score goals.

“We analysed that and we didn’t concede the spaces and when we had the ball, control the game and don’t lose the ball inside.

“We did very well in that situation. We find the right spaces not to lose the ball.”

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