Bruno Lage is thrilled Raul Jimenez has finally got off the mark in the Premier League so he can finally focus on what the Mexican does best.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach has been inundated with questions about his number nine throughout the season after his remarkable return to the field following a fractured skull.
Lage has been asked about Jimenez’s struggles in front of goal in the opening weeks of the season, and also the striker’s decision to remove his protective headband in the final stages of last week’s defeat to Brentford.
But Jimenez’s winning strike against Southampton means Lage can finally talk about his talisman’s goals.
Speaking after the game at St Mary’s, Lage said: “Sometimes you need to understand the subject is important but you cannot give it too much importance.
“We’ve spent two or three days talking about why Raul takes his headband (off), so I say next time when he takes off his band we’ll call the Mexican police and the FBI!
“We cannot put too much pressure on the players, they need to come and enjoy the game. They already know they need to do things well, football is about that. We don’t need to be there like, ‘You need to score goals’.
“I am lucky with him because now he’s just scored and we will talk about it!”
Lage made three changes from that defeat to Brentford with Leander Dendoncker replacing Ruben Neves in midfield, while Hwang Hee-chan and Daniel Podence joined Jimenez in attack at the expense of Adama Traore and Francisco Trincao.
Lage revealed afterwards that the changes were designed to make Wolves stronger in possession and explained the key role the experienced Joao Moutinho played in his tactics for Southampton.
He said: “Our job is to take decisions and it’s hard. When you win you are good and when you lose you are bad.
“What we had in mind was to put Joao more in the middle to come behind their strikers. For me, Joao is our best midfielder to find spaces between the lines behind the midfielders. That’s why we put him there.
“We saw what Southampton did against Man City and against Newcastle, they are a good team.
“When you play against this team they have the ball and they come with a big intensity to press high.
“We tried to do little things differently and we tried to get Joao and Leander to find spaces between the lines. That’s why Hwang and Daniel started the game, so we could have more of the ball between the lines.”
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