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Coady Coady leading from front for Wolves

Bruno Lage has hailed skipper Conor Coady as a driving force behind Wolves’ ambitions.

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Coady has been a lynchpin in the Wolves defence which has conceded the third-fewest goals in the Premier League after 14 games.

The captain, who faces his former and boyhood club Liverpool at Molineux tomorrow, again caught the eye alongside Max Kilman and Romain Saiss as Lage’s men made it three clean sheets on the spin in the goalless home draw against Burnley on Wednesday.

The head coach explained that ‘positive’ Coady drives standards in training and matches and, like Lage, wants to move Wolves to the next level.

“Conor is very important, you know him, working with him for (a few) months, but I know him from before, everyone talks good about him,” said Lage.

“Every time he is a positive guy, he has the same ambition I have, to put the club in a different standard. He was here the last four years and now is continuing to work.

“He is a very important guy for us and I think he is helping us in the best he can, that’s why it’s good to mention him, because he deserves it. They are doing well, Saiss, Coady and Max.”

Wolves’ watertight backline will be handed arguably its sternest test yet against Jurgen Klopp’s free-scoring Reds tomorrow.

Liverpool equalled and then extended an 82-year record held by Wolves at the end of last month in becoming the first English club to score two or more goals in a game for 16 consecutive matches. They have now extended that run to 18 games.

Diogo Jota, who scored the winner in a 1-0 win for the Reds in front of an empty Molineux in March, is set to be re-introduced to the Wolves faithful for the first time since his departure.

But Lage could not be more satisfied with how his defensive options are operating. He added: “I’m very happy, they were amazing, I’ve said it and I will say it again, the three guys, they did the things we ask them to do.

“We win all the duels, they play against these four strikers and then they change to two to try to play a different way, we won all the balls. They changed to a different profile for more speed up front and we controlled everything.

“And also the other way, when we are playing and manage the ball, Coady, Max and Saiss, it’s really important for them to understand and they did.

“They were calm, didn’t lose the ball, tried to find the spaces to make our own chances and when we have space to do transitions they did good passes and switches.

“Against Norwich they did well and the same again (on Wednesday).”

While Wolves’ record of 12 goals conceded from 14 games is the third best in the league, their tally of 12 goals scored is the third lowest number, but Lage insisted he was happy with the opportunities his side created against Burnley in midweek.

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