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Dave Edwards: Bruno Lage deserves a chance to succeed with Wolves backing

Wolves fans are very dejected, most aren’t happy with Bruno Lage and feel like there needs to be a change. But I’m definitely in the ‘he needs to be backed’ camp.


              
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves on the pitch
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves on the pitch

He’s come into quite a disjointed squad, hasn’t been able to add as much as he’d liked. He’s finished eighth, although it’s been a pretty poor few months, he deserves a summer to go and put it right.

And the board have to back him – they have to.

This squad is in need of an overhaul. It looked like after Sunday’s draw against Norwich there were quite a few farewells. It might have been Ruben Neves’s last game at Molineux, which would be a crying shame. If they do sell him they have to invest every penny and bring in quality.

They have to give Bruno Lage the tools to improve this Wolves side. Then if it doesn’t work, then look at it again next year and make the change if it’s been poor.

I just don’t think it’s fair to relieve him of his duties this summer. The only way is if a top, top level manager comes available and you have to make that move – but at the moment I don’t see those out there.

The home form has been a little bit abject this season – Wolves are 14th in the home form standings.

I think the fans appreciated the team’s efforts against City last week, when we were beaten by far the better team and had a go at times.

It would’ve been accepted a lot more with a big performance on Sunday against Norwich.

But I’ve written several times this season, when a lower club comes to Molineux the connection between players and fans isn’t there. The players need to drive that by starting fast. It was a bleak first half on Sunday.

It’s something for the management to work on. You need to get fans off their seats early, play quicker, cross it in, whatever.

When I was writing in January about the possibilities of where this season could go, talking Champions League places, certainly Europa – we’d dealt with a tough run of games comfortably.

I don’t think anybody saw coming what followed. It’s been pretty woeful. I don’t think it’s down to a bad attitude, I think the work-rate and application is there.

But it’s all just been a bit boring. The amount of goals scored at home is barely one goal a game. Everyone hoped this season would bring a more attacking style.

I believe in the first half of the season we saw it trying to happen, what the head coach was trying, playing higher but keeping clean sheets. You felt goals would come.

It’s been more what Lage has had available to him behind a lack of goals. Then you leak goals, the confidence drains and that has happened in the second half of the season.

It’s a shame we’ve finished eighth and it feels like a real failure.

It’s almost been the way we’ve played in these few months. It’s not been exciting – there’s been the odd glimpse, like 20 minutes at Chelsea – but in the main we’ve not attacked with conviction.

I don’t think we put enough balls into the box, and then when we do we don’t have people in there to score either. It’s a real dilemma. Wolves want to be a possession-based team but still the best way to score is getting to that byline and crossing. Our connection is not there and the squad needs improvements.

A striker is a must, it’s all up to the head coach who comes in, whether he’ll continue three at the back, or go 4-3-3 to be more attacking.

But Wolves have to play more exciting football, especially at home. The success has been incredible since Nuno took over, but you could see it started to wane in his last season and fans were frustrated. The back end of this season has been exactly the same, Bruno has morphed into Nuno with that style, without the resilient, counter-attacking qualities, so it’s almost a backwards step.

Bruno Lage needs to go away in the summer and find an identity to play attacking football and get the players that fit.

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