Express & Star

Bruno Lage calls for Wolves signings after depleted bench at Leeds

Bruno Lage has called for signings and more squad options after his depleted bench played a part in Wolves’ opening day loss to Leeds.


With injuries to key players Nelson Semedo, Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez, Wolves’ bench was filled with young and inexperienced players.

Only Willy Boly and Conor Coady were fully-fledged first-team players among the substitutes, as the remaining seven only had five Premier League appearances between them.

As a result, Lage waited until the 85th minute before making a change, as Chem Campbell came on for only his second Premier League game, and the head coach has called for signings – but admits he may have to be patient.

“We are unlucky with the three injuries, with Raul, Joao and Adama,” he said.

“Imagine these three players on the bench.

“But even that is not enough. We know that and we’ve talked about it.

“We knew since last year and since the day that I came that we can create a strong team and even today I have no doubts about that.

“But we need players to create that strong squad that we need, especially in these days with five subs.

“And we can feel it, maybe after 70 minutes, we saw Leeds doing substitutions and my option was to continue with those players.

“I was pleased Chem played 10 minutes like he did but I repeat what I said, it’s time to be patient because we are talking with players, I know the club are talking with players and those players can come and increase the level of the team and the squad. And they will give solutions that we didn’t have today and didn’t have in the last seven games of last season.”

Moutinho’s absence came as a surprise after Lage kept the injury quiet in his pre-match press conference.

Despite rumours of him being sidelined for six weeks, Lage seemed calm about the situation and hopes it will not be a long-term absence.

“It was a strange injury because he tried to shoot with his left foot and twisted his left foot in the last training,” Lage said.

“I said to him ‘why do you try to shoot with your left foot?’

“But these kind of things can happen. Let’s see what happens now.

“Sometimes it is a problem for one, two or three days so he will be out of this game and now we have to try to see how we can improve.

“I don’t think it’s a hard injury but let’s see how much time he has to recover.”

Despite the result, Lage insists he is pleased with the display and felt his team deserved more.

He said: “The team played well. I am very happy and proud with what the players did.

“I was right to give them the challenge to change the system. We were right to choose this system and 11 players to start the game.

“I am a happy man because I can see my team can play both systems in the Premier League. We dominated the game and started the game with big confidence.

“We started very well and the goal from Daniel is a good situation that we created.

“It was disappointing the way we conceded the first goal. The team continued to play in a good way and there was a good chance for Leander at the end of the first half.

“We refreshed our ideas and changed our dynamic a little bit and we had 25 or 30 minutes in the second half that were very good. We controlled everything but we didn’t score and we conceded.

“It’s the little things that we need to continue to work. One thing is a cross with a line of five and another is a cross with a line of four and how we need to run to cover the spaces.

“But these are the kind of things we need to continue to work on. In five weeks we are improving that and we need to continue to work.

“In the end, I am very proud of what the players did but disappointed because I think we deserved a different result.”