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Wolves boss Bruno Lage calls for 'tactical fouls' to be punished

Bruno Lage wants to see more punishment for tactical fouls in the Premier League.

Bruno Lage (Wolves/Getty)
Bruno Lage (Wolves/Getty)

Against Liverpool at the weekend Andy Robertson and Fabinho were both booked for scything down Adama Traore as he broke away on a trademark solo run.

Several other players, including Thiago, got away without punishment for similar actions and although Lage was not directly critical of referee Chris Kavanagh, he does believe that all fouls of that nature should warrant a yellow card.

“I never talk about referees, but I don’t believe in tactical fouls,” Lage said.

“For me, to break transitions a tactical foul is every time a yellow card. Sometimes if the player pushes the other one, it’s a yellow card. Sometimes the player kicks the other one, it’s nothing and it’s a tactical foul. I don’t believe in that.

“Every time, for me, the fouls in that moment is a yellow card because it breaks the transition.

“If you look at the game, what do you want? We want goals, we want chances, we want people in the stadium.

“I’m not saying this (just for the Liverpool game), I’ve been saying it since I was at Benfica.

“In the same way, if you remember the first foul we did when Leander tried to win the ball and he broke the transition, he took a yellow card.

“Every time a player does that I think they should get a yellow card.”

Traore has started the last two fixtures and been the stand-out attacker in a forward line that is struggling.

He hit the bar with a golden chance against Burnley and is yet to record a goal or assist this season and Lage says he is still working with the winger on his positioning.

Lage added: “It is very hard to do what he did, go past three or four guys and put the ball against the bar, very hard.

“The kind of things we need to understand for him (is) I don’t want to take what he has best, the kind of things he has.

“What I want is to increase better his position sometimes, sometimes he can work also inside, he shot twice from different positions. He created chances from outside and also from inside. For sure what is most frustrating for players like him, when he goes with the goalkeeper he gets the feeling he can score and if he doesn’t score the frustration is bigger than with other players.

“The first one he goes and he has Raul, he has freedom, I want him to decide, he moved to take the defender out and after he shot.

“He’s been unlucky in those situations. You can imagine if Adama scored five or six goals from the situations then we have more points and he is doing something fantastic.

“All the players know the responsibility and the most important thing is he and the team have support.

“We cannot go for goal and cry about goals we didn’t score. It wasn’t just Adama, if I remember, there were great chances from Trincao, Daniel, Raul, Semedo also, it’s about everyone.”

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