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Wolves boss Bruno Lage insists back four change is 'work in progress'

Bruno Lage admits his Wolves team still have work to do in their back four formation, but the head coach insists he is happy with the change in system.

Max Kilman of Wolverhampton Wanderers speaks with Nathan Collins during the pre-season match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sporting CP at Estadio Algarve on July 30, 2022 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/undefined).
Max Kilman of Wolverhampton Wanderers speaks with Nathan Collins during the pre-season match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sporting CP at Estadio Algarve on July 30, 2022 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/undefined).

Lage made the brave decision in pre-season to abandon Wolves' long-term five-at-the-back strategy and he has carried that into the new Premier League season.

Wolves did create chances and dominate possession against Fulham, but failed to make their mark on the scoreline, and while Lage is pleased with his decision to change he admits Wolves still have plenty of work to do.

"I'm happy with the four at the back but now we need to work more," he said.

"Especially the game between the lines. What they did in the first 20 minutes, they blocked Ruben so he couldn't have the ball, so we have to understand that Collins and Max should be more aggressive.

"We started to improve and found spaces between the lines. Then we dominated more and created more chances – these are the things we need to improve in a different system

"The other thing we need to grow up, is the emotional control. In the last 10 minutes we lost the position.

"I put men on with fresh energy to try to explore the games on the sides, and we didn't get the chance. We lost the position and balance and we gave chances to the opponent."

The bench against Fulham looked much healthier, as new signing Goncalo Guedes was joined by Nelson Semedo and Adama Traore, who returned from injury.

Lage added: "The last game I reacted, this game it was more action. Every time I think the team needs more energy we can bring fresh players on.

"We worked so hard in pre-season, and I'm happy because we played 97 minutes with a good tempo.

"We put Fulham in trouble and you can see what they did in the last 10, 15 minutes. They had a good chance to score a goal but in the last 20 minutes they didn't have the same power as us."

Guedes had more than half an hour to make his mark but was unable to force home a winner, and Lage believes he needs time to adapt to his new surroundings.

"He did what we expect after two or three trainings with the team," he said.

"We need now to adapt and know the players better, but it was good to see the dynamic he can give us and how he runs.

"Now it's a question of time to adapt, but we can see that he can give us a lot of things. He can play in the middle, out wide, so for the first game I'm happy."

When asked about Morgan Gibbs-White's performance, Lage added: "Morgan did a fantastic performance. He missed that goal and in a normal situation he scores it.

"That's what I want from Morgan, I'm very happy with him."

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