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Cup hero Daniel Podence looking to be potent in league for Wolves

Wolves boss Bruno Lage has praised the work of the ‘very clever’ Daniel Podence as the winger looks to fire against Southampton tomorrow.

Daniel Podence (Getty)
Daniel Podence (Getty)

Podence came up with a brace to help put Sheffield United to the sword in the FA Cup last weekend.

Now, he is determined to take that momentum into the Premier League as the Saints visit Molineux.

The 26-year-old Portuguese has spoken of his desire to ‘score and assist in every game’, having failed to net in the top flight so far in 2021/22.

Podence has been one of Wolves’ most consistent performers over the past couple of months and Lage, while also hoping for more goals from him, has been delighted with his recent contributions.

“He is very clever. With him, we can play better between the lines and can have different strategies,” said Lage.

“He understands his role and the game inside and outside. The main point is that I try to play where he starts and then create the moments he knows and the dynamic he has.

“He is doing very well when we don’t have the ball, he is pressing and that is what I want from our players.

“When we have the ball he is playing with it and our players, understanding the spaces and whether he needs to drop or attack the defenders.

“He is very clever to understand the game and he gives me that solution that I can change the strategy and dynamic.”

Bruno Lage has been impressed (Getty)

Lage, having known Podence since an early age, is thoroughly enjoying having the attacker at his disposal.

Podence could have a vital role to play against Southampton, who are four unbeaten going into the clash and beat Brentford 4-1 on Monday.

Wolves have also gone four games without losing in the league.

Lage added on Podence: “With Daniel, sometimes people don’t look at him because he is a small guy, but he has a lot of potential. I know him and he gives me a lot of headaches because I played against him when he was 10 at Sporting.

“My team in under-10 played against him, so you can imagine the problems he has given me since he was young.

“Now, it’s a pleasure to see him play for me.”

Podence is likely to be joined by compatriot Francisco Trincao – still looking for his first Wolves goal – and Raul Jimenez in the front three tomorrow, with Adama Traore and Fabio Silva returning to the bench.

Lage, meanwhile, has a decision to make at centre-half.

Fernando Marcal and Leander Dendoncker both played a half each against the Blades – due to Romain Saiss being away with Morocco at the Africa Cup of Nations

Marcal went off at the break with a knock, so Dendoncker could be seen as the favourite to start against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s lot.

Ki-Jana Hoever could return to the fold as well, having missed the Cup tie after testing positive for Covid.

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