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Romain Saiss eager to keep contributing in front of goal

The 31-year-old was hailed as the “Maldini from Morocco” by boss Bruno Lage.

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Romain Saiss was Wolves’ match-winner at Brighton (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Romain Saiss was Wolves’ match-winner at Brighton (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Romain Saiss was Wolves’ match-winner at Brighton (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Wolves defender Romain Saiss is targeting more match-winning contributions after firing his goal-shy side to an overdue Premier League victory.

Saiss was hailed as the “Maldini from Morocco” by boss Bruno Lage following his decisive first-half volley in Wednesday’s 1-0 success at Brighton.

Eighth-placed Wanderers had gone four games without finding the net before the trip to the south coast, with bottom club Norwich the only side to have scored fewer times this season.

Saiss, who struck a post in the second half and was also on the scoresheet at the Amex Stadium last season, hopes to continue chipping in, starting at home to Chelsea on Sunday.

“I’m always happy to score goals,” he said, according to Wolves’ official website. “I was close to scoring a second as well.

“It’s something I try to improve on, every season I get a lot of chances, so I try to improve.

“I’m happy to score again in this stadium. Let’s go and why not another one on Sunday?”

Saiss expertly fired into the bottom left corner with his weaker foot just before the half-time whistle following a sumptuous assist from Ruben Neves.

While many pundits eulogised Neves’ dinked pass, the 31-year-old was eager to take his share of the credit after claiming his third strike of the season in all competitions.

“I know him very well now, for a lot of years, so it was a fantastic pass from a fantastic player,” Saiss said of Neves.

“But I think I deserve some credit for the finish with my right foot. I never use my right foot, which is why I’m happy as well.”

Although Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu squandered an excellent chance for an instant equaliser, Wolves should have won by more after missing numerous second-half chances.

Marcal and Saiss each struck the woodwork, while Daniel Podence and Francisco Trincao were guilty of being wasteful.

A successful trip to Sussex was marred slightly by Hwang Hee-chan limping off injured inside 15 minutes after Rayan Ait-Nouri picked up a knock in the warm-up.

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Lage is waiting to discover the extent of the issues.

“For now I don’t have any information about Hwang,” said the Portuguese coach.

“It was a foul and I think he felt something afterwards, so he had to come out.

“We need everyone fit because we don’t have many players.”

Defeat for depleted Brighton stretched their winless run to a club-record 11 top-flight games, although eight have been drawn.

Albion were without a host of influential players due to coronavirus, injury and suspension, including captain Lewis Dunk and top scorer Neal Maupay.

Seagulls head coach Graham Potter, who is preparing for Saturday’s trip to Manchester United, says his side must “ride out the storm”.

“We have always been level-headed in terms of how we deal with the results,” he said.

“When we get some key players back, that will help us.

“It’s a tough time at the moment with a lot of challenges around injury, Covid and suspension, so it’s important we ride out the storm and stay together as a group.”

Midfielder Yves Bissouma will be absent at Old Trafford due to suspension after collecting his fifth booking of the season.

“He will be a miss and at the current time we have a really stretched group,” Potter said of the Mali international.

“But that is an opportunity for someone else, we have got some options.”

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