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Bruno Lage wants Wolves to ‘work like little ants’ ahead of ‘hard’ winter

In-form Wanderers face Everton on Monday evening.


Wolves boss Bruno Lage is preparing to face Everton (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Wolves boss Bruno Lage is preparing to face Everton (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Wolves boss Bruno Lage is preparing to face Everton (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Wolves head coach Bruno Lage says his players must “work like little ants” to pick up points during the next month to prevent pressure building heading into a tough winter schedule.

In-form Wanderers, who have taken 10 Premier League points from the last 12 available, kick off their November fixtures at home to Everton on Monday evening ahead of meetings with Crystal Palace, West Ham and Norwich.

They then face seven games during a packed December, including clashes with Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, ahead of travelling to Manchester United at the start of January.

Lage has a relatively small squad at his disposal and also faces the prospect of losing defenders Romain Saiss and Willy Boly to the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year.

“It’s going to be a hard period for everyone, I have that experience from the past,” said Lage.

“We don’t have the biggest squad, maybe we can lose some players for CAN (Africa Cup of Nations) and we need to compete with breaks of two or three days.

“It’s going to be a hard winter. We had that vision in the beginning, we tried to plan and organise our squad.

“We need to work like little ants to win the most points we can get because if you arrive at that period with not enough players and competing every two or three days it’s better to arrive in that position in a comfortable position and with more points than we have now.”

Ivory Coast international Boly, who is yet to make a top-flight appearance this season, is fit and available for selection after an illness but fellow defenders Marcal and Yerson Mosquera remain sidelined with injury.

Meanwhile, Lage is hopeful Pedro Neto could return to action in mid-January after breaking his kneecap in April.

The winger is currently continuing his recovery in his native Portugal.

“The good news is that everything is OK with his injury and now he will start to work harder than he has until this day,” Lage said of Neto.

“Maybe he can start working with the team in one month and after that he needs to do the normal pre-season for two or three weeks to be fit to play in this competition, which you know is very hard.

“Maybe in the middle of January we can have him at the stadium to start playing with us.”

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Everton head to Molineux with a solitary win from their last five league outings and on the back of successive defeats, including last weekend’s surprise 5-2 loss to Watford.

Lage is looking forward to pitting his wits against experienced Toffees boss Rafael Benitez.

“If I look back 10 years ago, I just see this manager and these players on TV,” said the Portuguese.

“Now I’m here and try to play against them and try to win the game.

“That’s the challenge of the Premier League, to compete with the best ones so that’s why from the first day I’m thankful for Wolves and for my chairman to give me the chance to be here and try to do the best I can do.”

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