Bruno Lage has demanded more from his Wolves forwards and urged them to take more risks in the hope it’ll lead to more goals after they were made to settle for a goalless draw at lowly Norwich City.
Wolves have scored just once in their last three league games after drawing another blank on the road at Carrow Road, and they didn’t particularly look like improving on that statistic either on an afternoon where they needed their back three and goalkeeper Jose Sa to ensure they at least left with a point and a clean sheet.
Key forward men Daniel Podence (Covid) and long-term injury absentee Pedro Neto (ACL) are still to come back in, but in their absence Francisco Trincao and Hwang Hee-chan failed to supply target man Raul Jimenez with any substantial line of service over the course of the piece.
Lage wants to see more chances created and more risks taken from his wide men and front-line, because he believes that with the keeper, back three and holding midfielders, they have a very solid base which permits the attackers to be more adventurous.
“I said that in the dressing room in front of the players,” Lage said. “The most important thing…the wingers we have, the strikers, the full backs, they have the freedom to create chances – we’re very solid at the back with three centre backs and two midfielders.
“I was pleased how we built up from the goalkeeper, through to the defenders and midfielders, but in the final third we need to be more aggressive. They have the freedom to do that, to go inside, to shoot and create their own chances.
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“It’s the point – in an intensive way we were there, but we must be more aggressive, when one v one, and of course not to concede chances for the opponent.
“In the first 30 minutes, we managed it. We played as though we were at home. We could be more aggressive, to create our own chances. In the second half the game was more balanced, we moved the ball to the sides, we concede some positions, and Norwich create good chances. It’s a point, but we can do better in the final third.”
If there was a small positive to take out of this game, for Lage – aside from the clean sheet and another point to their impressive top flight tally – then it was the progress made, in the manager’s eyes, on the showing at Selhurst Park recently.
“When you look back to our game against Crystal Palace it was a different game, but it’s a point and we move on,” he added.
“We had five men forward, we linked well, but sometimes we lose possession too easily. I’m frustrated because we started well, different to how we did v Crystal Palace, but we have players who should do better in the final third.
“I’m happy with how they’re doing, but I’d rather they lose the ball if they’re trying to create chances. Be more aggressive, get more men in the box.”