Bruno Lage thinks patience is a virtue as Wolves maintain rise with Everton win

Boss Bruno Lage believes patience is a virtue after in-form Wolves maintained their recent rise.

Raul Jimenez’s first strike at Molineux since returning from a fractured skull and Max Kilman’s maiden Wolves goal earned a 2-1 win over Everton on Monday.

Alex Iwobi’s second-half consolation could not stop the hosts from going seventh in the Premier League after a fourth win in five games.

They lost their opening three matches of the season without scoring but Lage, who replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in the summer, always had faith.

He said: “At the beginning we played three games with good performances but no points and no goals but I told the players to keep going, keep believing, don’t put pressure on anyone and the points will come.

“They came with that motivation, we have spent a lot of time working, not just on the pitch but in the meeting room to understand what we are doing.

“I know the players, I know they can do it and I want more from the guys.

“What I am watching is the players and us, every time we analyse and  understand what we can do better. Our players can do this kind of thing, this is why the standards should be at this level.”

Lage also reserved praise for Jimenez’s first home goal since October 2020 after suffering a fractured skull 12 months ago. It was also his 50th goal for Wolves and second of the season.

“Every time we talk about Raul I say it’s the way he presses and runs,” he added. “He pressed the central defender and won the ball and scored the goal.

“That is why he is so important for us. I appreciate this kind of work and you need to work not just with the ball but without the ball. Raul is amazing without the ball.”

Ruben Neves and Francisco Trincao had already gone close and Hwang Hee-chan had a goal ruled out by VAR before Wolves took control with two goals in four minutes.

Kilman headed in Rayan Ait-Nouri’s corner – beating Michael Keane, Andros Townsend and Ben Godfrey – to give Wolves a 28th-minute lead.

Godfrey then gifted Jimenez his goal when his woeful back pass was intercepted by the Mexico international who casually clipped the ball past Jordan Pickford.

Everton improved after the break and Jose Sa’s mistake almost presented Richarlison with a goal before Jimenez hit a post at the other end.

Iwobi made it a nervous finish at Molineux when he struck after Godfrey’s shot was blocked but Sa’s excellent save from Anthony Gordon denied the visitors a late comeback.

“We could see what we are capable of doing in the second half. We weren’t very happy with the first half,” said boss Rafa Benitez after a third straight defeat left Everton 10th.

“It was a surprise because I know the team is working really hard and I can see the players in the training sessions. It is a surprise when you have to play in front of the fans and we are missing something.

“We can do it, we did it in the second half and don’t forget we did it against Brighton and Manchester United. This team has shown character and commitment. We are missing some players but we can fight in the way we did in the second half.

“They are capable of reacting like we did in the second half and capable of making mistakes in the first half.

“We are missing some important players, I’m not talking about one or two, I’m talking about four.”

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