Wolves boss Bruno Lage took an indirect swipe at Arsenal when insisting football must go ahead – even if it means playing the kids.
Wolves aided their quest for European football on Saturday with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Southampton. Raul Jimenez gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot, before Conor Coady notched a rare goal to double the advantage.
James Ward-Prowse set up a tense finish when scoring direct from a sublime 30-yard free kick. However, Tottenham transfer target Adama Traore put the game to bed when bagging his first goal of the season in injury time.
Traore has been heavily linked with a move to Spurs and Wolves have moved a step closer to paving the way for his exit after reportedly reaching an agreement for Portuguese winger Chiquinho.
However, after the match, Lage’s attention was taken by the news that Arsenal’s controversial request to have their match with Tottenham on Sunday postponed had been granted.
Spurs responded with a cutting statement aimed at the Gunners. Their anger stemmed from the belief that Arsenal have an insignificant number of players missing through Covid, and thus should not be allowed to postpone a fixture.
The bulk of their absentees are through AFCON duty, injuries, and suspension, while loaning out Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Roma has further depleted Mikel Arteta’s ranks.
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Wolves were missing Ruben Neves with Covid while Romain Saiss is on international duty and Hee-Chan Hwang, Willy Boly, Marcal, Pedro Neto, Yerson Mosquera and Jonny are injured.
Lage gave a debut to defender Toti Gomes after recalling him from Grasshoppers, included two goalkeepers on the bench and gave a late debut to 19-year-old Luke Cundle with three other youngsters unused substitutes.
‘If you have players, you must play’ – Bruno Lage
Speaking after the match (via the PA), Bruno Lage took an indirect swipe at Arsenal, stating: “The most important thing is to complain about nothing and find solutions.
“In two or three weeks we are playing more games with the FA Cup. If you have more games then it’s harder to play.
“If you have players you need to continue to play. We have a lot of kids from the academy to play.
“I want to play and we are in a good moment, I don’t think about that (postponing). I put the kids in training a couple of times with us.
“We needed to prepare for the game in the best way. I prepared a lot of things this week. It was a hard week and I’m feeling very tired.”