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Bruno Lage: Lack of Wolves goals a worry

Bruno Lage hopes Diego Costa will be ready for Premier League football after the international break as he admits Wolves’ lack of goals ‘is a worry’.

Diego Costa (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).
Diego Costa (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).

Having not played since December 5, Costa was not ready to make the squad against Manchester City at the weekend in the first fixture since he signed as a free agent.

In just under two weeks Wolves travel to face West Ham and Lage hopes Costa will be available for the bench.

Lage said: “He didn’t train with the team all week. It will take time for him to be ready to compete at this level.

“He’s fit, he doesn’t have any problems, but he’s spent a long time without playing and he didn’t do any training with the team.

“He will start working with the team and I hope that in two weeks we can get him to the level where he can be a solution from the bench.”

With Sasa Kalajdzic sidelined with a long-term injury and Raul Jimenez currently out with a groin problem, Wolves have no fit strikers.

Lage was coy when asked if Jimenez will be ready for the West Ham game and simply said ‘let’s see’, but the Express & Star understands the fixture with Chelsea the following week is a more accurate timeline for Jimenez’s return.

As they wait on the fitness of their strikers, Wolves have now scored just three goals in seven Premier League games as they sit 17th in the table.

“When you don’t score goals, it’s a worry,” Lage added.

“That’s why we have these three strikers but unfortunately no-one is available to play.

“Even City are so strong but understand they need a reference in the box to score goals. If Man City can play really well without a striker, for us it’s more important to have that man.

“Raul didn’t do pre-season. When he came he played three games in a row because we didn’t have any solutions. After the Bournemouth game he cannot play because he was so tired and with his problem.

“We put Sasa in the game and he just played 45 minutes. After that, we talked with Diego to come but he needs time.

“We need to find different solutions. It’s hard to have three strikers like we have and have no-one available.”

Meanwhile, skipper Ruben Neves believes ‘great player and great person’ Costa will add a different dimension to Wolves’ attack once they have him fit and firing.

“Everyone knows Diego and what he can give to a team,” Neves said.

“He’s very aggressive and a really good striker. He can score, he runs a lot and helps the team defending as well.

“We’re just waiting for him to be fit and help the team as much as he can, because he’s a great player and a great person, who has settled really well here.

“We are just looking forward to seeing him on the pitch.”

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