Shropshire Star

Wolves star hailed for big impact at City Ground

Gary O’Neil had lauded the impact of Matheus Cunha after his starring role in Wolves’ draw at Nottingham Forest.


In his first start following a serious hamstring injury, the Brazilian international scored a magnificent solo goal before poking home a second to rescue a point.

Wolves have been without several key players in recent months due to a number of injures, and the head coach was quick to point out the difference his returning stars are making.

He said: “It shows you the value of having good players available to you in the Premier League. It makes a big difference.

“I don’t really like him where we used him today as a nine, you don’t get the best out of him them. But Cunha still on limited minutes meant he had to do a job for us.

“I don’t think it is any coincidence his best moment came down that left channel where he has done a lot of his best stuff for us.

“We are getting a bit closer, we have got people coming back but still a very tough puzzle to put together at the moment, for me and the guys.

“There is a lot going on at the moment to get through games, they deserve huge credit because it is tough getting points away from home in the Premier League when you are at full strength so to come here with what we have available to us at the moment is a real positive result and a positive performance because they showed a lot of quality and some real grit and determination.

“Good players make a massive difference. We came here today and I had to pick the 10 outfield players from 12.

“It’s the toughest spell I have had as a manager or a player, I don’t think there will be many teams choosing 10 outfield players from 12 players.

“But there is no excuses or moaning, there is just a real sense of pride. We took three points off Fulham, a point away at Burnley and Nottingham Forest with basically 12 senior players in every one of those. Credit to the group.”

Meanwhile, Craig Dawson may require surgery on a groin issue that could end his season.

The defender last played on March 2 but has been an unused substitute in the last two games.

O’Neil said: “Daws was available for 10 minutes tops if we needed him. He might have surgery this week on a groin issue that’s been causing him some problems.

“He needs to go and see someone because he’s not feeling comfortable at the moment.

“He put himself up for the last two squads to try to help the group.

“I don’t know if it would be season-ending. It depends what comes back this week but I know he’s really struggling.

“He’s playing through some pain, trying to train to help.”

Rayan Ait-Nouri also missed the trip to Forest with a calf complaint, but O’Neil is expecting him to be available to play Arsenal.

“He had a fitness test with the medical team and felt some discomfort, which was unexpected,” O’Neil said.

“He had a really good couple of days and we felt he was in a good spot.

“When I spoke to you (the media) he was still in his tracksuit and I was going to decide whether to start him or use him off the bench.

“Shortly after the press conference I was informed there had been a slight issue in the fitness test and he wasn’t feeling comfortable.

“But I don’t envisage it being a big issue. He’s feeling better and we’ll try get him ready for next weekend.”