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Wolves skipper Coady hails 'fantastic' Dendoncker and Saiss

By Rosie Swarbrick | Wolves | Published:

Wolves skipper Conor Coady has praised his ‘fantastic’ defensive partners for filling the gaps left by injuries.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal and Leander Dendoncker of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett sidelined, midfielders Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss played alongside Coady during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

And Coady was full of praise for how his team-mates stepped up to the plate at the Emirates.

“We said how much of a big miss big Boly would be – but we have players to come in,” said Coady. “Leander is a fantastic player, Saiss plays there for his country (Morocco).

“He knows how to play the role. He is a fantastic footballer and a brilliant lad.

“You can see Leander slot in there and take it on board.”

Boly is set to be out for a number of months after breaking his left fibula bone in training last month.

The centre-half is set to be in a protective boot for at least six weeks after undergoing surgery.

That blow has left boss Nuno Espirito Santo with a conundrum at the back for Wolves’ last three games.

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Saiss and wing-back Matt Doherty got the nod for the 1-1 draw at Newcastle, but Dendoncker replaced Doherty on the right of the back three at the break.

Nuno gave youngsters Max Kilman and Jesus Vallejo a run-out alongside Bennett for last week’s Carabao Cup exit at Villa – but Bennett suffered a recurrence of his groin injury during the match.

And with two of his three senior centre-halves ruled out of contention, Nuno opted to restore Dendoncker and Saiss to his favoured back three at Arsenal.

“We have some fantastic footballers to fit into that type of way of playing,” said Coady. “We’ve been playing it (three at the back) for a long while, so there is no problem with that.”

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It was Wolves’ sixth 1-1 draw of the Premier League season as Arsenal joined Manchester United, Burnley, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle in opening the scoring before Nuno’s side fought back.

Wolves have also drawn 0-0 with Leicester, but only lost to Everton and Chelsea.

The two times Nuno’s side have opened the scoring in the league, they have gone on to beat both Watford and Manchester City 2-0. And, given those statistics, Coady wants to see Wolves open the scoring more often.

He said: “No (we don’t often get beat), but we have to change that. I thought a goal in the first 10-15 minutes (and it) would have been a different game.

“That is how I felt from watching it (from the back). But it is good to have that character, it is good to have that resilience to come back into a game.

“We will never lose that, but we do not want to rely on it.”

However, Coady felt Wolves should have left the capital with more than a point.

He said: “I thought we played really well, I thought we controlled the game in spells.I thought we had a spell when they scored which we were disappointed with but in all in all.It is the second year we have been here now and felt we should have won.It is one of those where you take the points.”

Rosie Swarbrick

By Rosie Swarbrick
@rosieswarb

Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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