Bruno Lage welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers’ second successive win and urged his team to attack their remaining nine Premier League games with “belief and courage” as they fight for a European place. It was Conor Coady’s 49th-minute header that clinched a 1-0 win for Lage’s team away to Everton and came on the back of a 4-0 triumph over Watford.
This latest victory moved Wolves up to seventh in the table and was their eighth win from 15 away league games this term. Lage praised his side’s ability to weather the early Everton pressure and then become the dominant force after the break.
“I just said to them, this is the thing we need to do every game,” Lage said. “We need to believe and have courage to play like we did today and against Watford also. We knew a team like that, when they lost 5-0, would come in the beginning.
“We made a good defence and held on a little bit in the first 20 minutes and after that, the game turned calm and we controlled it. It was maybe one of the best second halves we did, we managed the game with and without the ball.
“We prepared well for it. We put many players as midfielders, that’s why Leander [Dendoncker] played, to have more players in the middle, to have more possession and keep the rhythm. When we felt the game, after 15 or 20 minutes, calmed, we had the players to find the spaces and we did. The second half was so good.
“We need to give them credit for what they did. Their manager changed from a line of five to a line of four and my players did everything we asked. We adapted, we changed and continued to dominate possession.”
'Coady was like a striker'
Naturally, it was the boyhood Liverpool fan who scored the goal that piled pressure on Everton, and Lage joked that his captain looked “like a striker” as he rose to head home Ruben Neves’s cross. It was Neves who was instrumental to Wolves much-improved second half and his manager spoke highly of the Portuguese’s performance.
“It’s so important,” Lage said of Neves’s display. “That’s why I am always near him, talking with him, because he needs to understand more things in the game; how the opponent plays, how they press our defenders, where he needs to be if they go man-to-man, like they tried to with Dele Alli in the second half.
“He is doing very well and it was another good performance. Like I said after the Watford game, what I want from Ruben - I think he has the talent to be top of the top - is a good performance after Everton, and after Leeds another good performance.”