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Dave Edwards: Mistakes cost Wolves but Mario Lemina’s definitely a plus

I don’t want to dwell too much on a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City – but there were flashes from Wolves that made me confident moving forward.

Mario Lemina showed he could be a good addition to the midfield alongside Matheus Nunes and Ruben Neves. Right. Lopetegui faces a huge six games.
Mario Lemina showed he could be a good addition to the midfield alongside Matheus Nunes and Ruben Neves. Right. Lopetegui faces a huge six games.

I know the score suggests it was a total whitewash and maybe spells in the second half were a little bit difficult.

And maybe Julen Lopetegui got a few things wrong in the first half, but like always he was quick to react and the changes he made at half-time and the change in shape was really positive.

I thought the initial line-up looked strong barring the front three, that could’ve easily been different personnel.

Raul Jimenez has probably done enough recently to justify a start but was one of three to be hooked at the break. I’m not sure Adama Traore warranted his start, but Daniel Podence wasn’t fully fit so couldn’t play from the start.

New boy Pablo Sarabia came on and had quite a poor debut, but he hasn’t trained too much yet so it’s hard to judge him. But when Joao Moutinho came on and Wolves changed shape it did stop City being able to play from the back as quickly and easily.

But what I really enjoyed was the midfield and the new trio of Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes and Mario Lemina – I hope to see more of it moving forward.

I really like Lemina and think he was a big positive from the game. He is building with each performance and impressed me again, I reckon he will be really important in offering balance to this Wolves team.

He brings experience as a 29-year-old, having played in England before, and it was a no-risk signing with the small fee he cost. He has definitely been better than I expected him to be.

In terms of the defeat, the two mistakes made for the goals at the start of the second half took the game away from Wolves.

All of the goals came at the wrong time, from Wolves’ perspective, even the first of Erling Haaland’s hat-trick just before half-time, if the visitors get in goalless it can be a different game completely.

They were easily avoided, all from mistakes, but I think the head coach has positives to take from Manchester.

And after a host of games in a busy few weeks there is a lovely fortnight break now until Liverpool come to Molineux again – time to really work on the squad and move it forward.

It couldn’t be tighter down in the lower reaches of the Premier League. Wolves are out of the bottom three on goal difference but just three points separate bottom side Southampton and Leicester in 14th.

It is just about stringing some wins together, as Nottingham Forest have done over the last month.

Wolves have had a couple of tricky fixtures and have Liverpool to come – and I fancy Wolves against them at a packed Molineux after no home game for a while – before some real crunch games.

There are some huge clashes to come, up against teams around where Wolves are. This two-week FA Cup break is really important to make sure the squad is ready to go right up until that international break towards the end of March.

Southampton and Bournemouth are among the games after Liverpool, Fulham and Spurs too before a trip to Newcastle – it’s a big six-game run for Lopetegui’s men.

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