Express & Star

Bruno Lage is confident he can get Wolves moving on up

Bruno Lage is confident that Wolves will rise up the table as they enter a period of crunch fixtures ahead of the World Cup break.

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Wolves have eight league games until that break in the middle of November, including today’s trip to West Ham, and will need to improve on their return of one win from seven games so far this season.

Currently sitting 17th in the league, Lage has full confidence that his side will make a huge improvement in the coming weeks.

“My plan is to work hard every day with a big confidence that in the next eight games before the World Cup we will be in the middle of the table,” Lage said.

“The only thing we need to take care of is our striker, because we just have one at the moment

“Records are our life, we have good records and bad records. I cannot forget that the last seven games of last season we just got two points, but in the same way we didn’t have five or six important players with us.

“In the last three games we didn’t play with three players from the line of five, we didn’t play with Ruben (Neves) and we didn’t play with (Daniel) Podence. It’s not an excuse, it’s our life, and we have to live with that. There’s some problems, not just the manager problems but club problems. We have just one striker, which is my problem but also a club problem. I have plenty of confidence in my work and we need to find the best solutions to have strikers available to play, to score goals, to win games and put the team in the middle of the table by the middle of November.”

For Lage, one of the main reasons for his confident demeanour is Diego Costa’s addition to the team.

The striker has enjoyed two weeks of full team training and the head coach believes he will help Wolves find their scoring touch.

Lage said: “We’ve had the plan to change to an attacking team but we need those kind of players. Unfortunately we don’t have Raul or Sasa with us, now we just have Diego.

“It was good to have these weeks for training and one of the things that comes with energy is Diego. When we are training and can see a striker in the team, you can see the good vibes and energy comes.

“He was working with us for three weeks. He has started training with the team after the Man City game and gives a lot of energy.

“We are a completely different team when we have a striker. It’s not just the value of the player, he is important, but also other players can give more with him in front of them.”

Lage added: “What I can say to you is that he spent a lot of time without playing and training. The rhythm of the Premier League is at a different level. But what I watched when he trained with the team, he has done very well.

“Let’s see how long he can play. He did two weeks of training and the players are playing different and better with a striker in front of them. I challenge you guys to see the difference when we play with a striker to when we don’t play with one.”