Express & Star

Bruno Lage speaks out on where it all went wrong at Wolves

Former boss Bruno Lage has admitted that a lack of signings ahead of his final pre-season at Wolves proved to be a ‘big mistake’.


Heading into their pre-season training camp, Wolves only added centre-back Nathan Collins to the squad, alongside Hwang Hee-chan who had made his loan from RB Leipzig permanent, going into the 2022-23 season.

Meanwhile, defensive duo Fernando Marcal and Romain Saiss had headed for the exit door and would be followed by Willy Boly, Conor Coady, Leander Dendoncker and Morgan Gibbs-White by the end of the window.

Goncalo Guedes arrived from Valencia after the season had already got underway alongside fellow foreign imports such as Matheus Nunes, Sasa Kalajdzic and Diego Costa.

Reflecting on his Wolves tenure for the first time since his sacking over 18 months ago, Lage said via the Coaches’ Voice website: “In the following pre-season, my first objective was to convince the management that the good results we had enjoyed could be repeated in the future.

“We had to foresee it. Some players were coming to the end of their contracts, though, and we lost important players like Fernando Marcal, Romain Saiss and, early in the new season, Willy Boly, Conor Coady and Leander Dendoncker.

“Unfortunately, the club had failed to bring in enough replacements during pre-season. We only brought in a centre-back, Nathan Collins, from Burnley.

“That was a big mistake we made. I was very vocal, warning of the potential problems and insisting on having the new players for pre-season but I still hold myself responsible.

“Maybe I wasn’t persuasive enough about the importance of having the squad ready as soon as possible.”

Wolves collected just one win and six points from their opening nine league games as Lage ultimately lost his job as a result.

Lage felt the squad was not strong enough to compete in the Premier League and noted that a spree of January signings after he had left only underlined the lack of squad depth.

“My coaching staff and I always believe that we have the ability to overcome a negative situation, and we also believed that in that particular moment with Wolves,” he continued.

“But the board decided to end our relationship. In these situations, it is always easier for the club to change the manager.

“Still, they later acknowledged the problems we had identified, and that the squad was not competitive enough for the Premier League.

“They had to bring in top players like Craig Dawson, Mario Lemina, Joao Gomes, Pablo Sarabia and Matheus Cunha.

“Before now, I have never spoken about my time at Wolves in the media. This is the first time I have done so, but I’m very proud of the work we did and I realise that, above all, I look back on that time with good memories.”