Bruno Lage reveals how his team tackled Newcastle United – with two gameplans
Bruno Lage has revealed that he had two plans for Newcastle United’s visit to Molineux.
Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers side won 2-1 on Saturday thanks to two goals from loan striker Hee Chan Hwang.
The result has left winless Newcastle 19th in the Premier League with three points from seven games – and it has also heaped more pressure on Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce, again the subject of “we want Brucie out” chants from United fans, started with a 4-3-3 formation at Molineux, but he switched to a back five following Hwang’s first-half opener.
Lage, appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor in the summer, had studiously prepared his team for both systems.
Asked for his view on Newcastle, the club’s head coach said: “I think it’s very hard to compete against them.
"Before the game we had two plans. If they come with 4-3-3, because they did well the last two games, and I was confident they would start like that, because they did well in the last two games playing that way.
"But, in the same way, they can change and adapt, and can play with a line of five, like they did after 30 minutes. They can play both systems, and they can play well in both systems.
"That’s why I’m thankful for the boys, because they did everything we worked (on) in an offensive way and played against the systems, and in a defensive way also. They really pressed all the game.
"We need to play like the way we played with the ball, with confidence. You can see how many times Jose received the ball from the centre-backs, with the big confidence and the big personality.
"That’s the way to compete against them – strong mentality and personality to have the ball.”
Substitute Jeff Hendrick, on for injured midfielder Joe Willock, equalised for Newcastle before the break, but Hwang claimed all three points with a 58th-minute winner after Allan Saint-Maximin had spurned a good chance at the other end of the pitch.
“There was nothing in it,” said United head coach Bruce, who insisted before the game that he would “100%” not walk away from the job. “I think the big turning point was the big chance we missed. At this level you really can’t miss chances like that.”