After expressing his concern over his squad numbers in Friday’s press conference, Lage doubled down on his comments after his side’s poor performance and result in the fourth round against Premier League strugglers Norwich.
With Pedro Neto and Hwang Hee-chan injured, Francisco Trincao out with Covid-19 and following Adama Traore’s loan to Barcelona last month, Wolves were left with just one fit senior winger in Daniel Podence.
That forced Lage to play in a 3-5-2 formation with young wingers Chiquinho and Chem Campbell the options from the bench, and when asked about his side’s display Lage berated his lack of forward options.
“We didn’t play with the same dynamic, especially in the first half,” he said.
“In the second half we played in a different position. When we change some players and are playing against a line of four defenders and four midfielders, our game is very important to play between the lines with wingers.
“Now, as Pedro and Hwang are still injured and Trincao had Covid, we just played with one winger.
“That’s why it was hard to attack from the right. Leander tried to do the game we want as a winger but he’s a midfielder, so every time he comes, he comes to try to link the game and we don’t have too many players between the lines, just Daniel.
“It was easy for Norwich to control our game. That’s why I was upset at half-time.
“Especially the way we conceded the goal in the 46th minute. From a throw they won a foul and the player had his back to our goal and we conceded a good chance.
“We gave them a big chance to score.
“In the second half it was different and we came with a different dynamic to try and put more men between the lines.
“Even with the chances we had we put Chiquinho and Raul on and created some good chances. Especially that one with Daniel, and if we score one goal I think we can win the game.
“In the end we didn’t score, but created some good chances, so now we watch the rest of the FA Cup on TV.”
The clash with Norwich was tailor-made for Traore to have an impact, had he stayed with the club, which added to fans’ frustration over letting him go.
But Lage says he now needs to find the answers within his squad to replace the gaps they have in forward areas.
“Now it’s about me finding the best solutions,” he added.
“The players give us the dynamic. I cannot ask things from the players that they don’t do – I can’t ask Daniel, Trincao, Hwang or Pedro to play as a midfielder like Ruben or Joao.
“I also cannot ask Leander, Joao or Ruben to play between the lines – the position is different.
“I now need to look and find the best solutions in our squad and I just had one winger available.”
Wolves may also be forced to play Arsenal on Thursday with the same depleted squad, depending on Trincao’s Covid-19 test and Hwang’s recovery from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since mid-December.
Lage said: “Lets see. It depends on the test they need to do and lets also see what happens with Hwang.
“For Hwang I don’t think we’ll have him, but lets see. We need to see which players we have available to play the game in the best way.”