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Bruno Lage: Defensive tweaks fortifying Wolves

Bruno Lage believes the off-field dedication of his players and minor improvements have helped shape his impressive defensive record.

Romain Saiss, Max Kilman and Conor Coady. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.
Romain Saiss, Max Kilman and Conor Coady. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Wolves have the fourth best back line in the Premier League, having conceded only 14 goals in 17 games so far this season.

Lage has put a big emphasis on analysis since taking over and his defenders regularly have meetings with his staff to go over small details such as body shape and positioning.

Conor Coady, Max Kilman and Romain Saiss have impressed all season in the back three and Lage insists their work off the pitch and ability to adapt to the small changes has been the key to success.

He said: “We try to analyse the little things we can improve. When we talked before about how fast our defenders are – instead of Conor being the cover for the other two, he now stays in the same line as the other two.

“We are working in that way so that he doesn’t need to be fast. They are working as a three together, respecting the line and spaces and they move together.

“When you try to stay in the same line, you can jump to press the guys between the lines.

“That’s why it’s so important the strikers understand the moment of the team and the way we press.

“If they go and the midfielders go and there are spaces, it is very hard for the defenders to jump six, seven or eight metres to press the guy.

“If they are more compact and solid and as a team we understand which moment we press, it is better for everyone.”

Meanwhile, Lage has heaped more praise on the club’s supporters ahead of Sunday’s home clash with Chelsea.

A sold-out away end saw 3,000 Wolves fans make the long midweek trip to Brighton on Wednesday, just over a week before Christmas.

And the head coach was eager to say how important the supporters are to the team ahead of another game at Molineux against one of the Premier League’s powerhouses.

“They have been very important since the first day,” Lage added.

“I have a photo of me in a friendly the first time the fans came to the game and they came with a big support.

“It means a lot. In that period we hadn’t given anything and they were there since the first minute to support us.

“The way we played in Brighton with the support from them, it was very important. The fans are there.

“That’s why it’s so important when we are playing at home that the people are there, it is like we are playing with one more man.”

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