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Ruben Neves discovers ‘perfect’ blueprint for success as Wolves thrash Watford

Wolves returned to form on Thursday against the troubled Hornets after suffering a run of defeats.

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Ruben Neves rounded off the scoring in Wolves’ 4-0 win over Watford (Simon Marper/PA)

Ruben Neves rounded off the scoring in Wolves’ 4-0 win over Watford (Simon Marper/PA)

Ruben Neves rounded off the scoring in Wolves’ 4-0 win over Watford (Simon Marper/PA)

Ruben Neves believes Wolves’ 4-0 thrashing of Watford forms the ideal blueprint for how the midlands club should perform for the remainder of the season.

Defeats by West Ham, Arsenal and Crystal Palace in the last couple of weeks took the sheen off Wolves reaching the 40-point barrier in the Premier League but they returned to form on Thursday against the troubled Hornets.

Strikes from Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence sandwiched a Cucho Hernandez own goal as Wolves went three up inside 21 minutes before Neves’ deft chip late on saw the club equal their biggest win in the Premier League.

Wolves head coach Bruno Lage was particularly critical of his players in the wake of their first-half display against Palace last weekend so Neves was relieved they bounced back and called on them to maintain their levels.

“It was perfect for us,” he told the club website. “Coming from three defeats in a row is hard, but we prepared ourselves really well for this game and I think we totally deserved the three points.

“We played like we want to play every time, it was really good for us and for our fans. That’s what we want to do every single game.

“The 45 minutes against Palace was not good enough and our fans didn’t deserve that, like the gaffer said.

“That’s how we want to play every single game, and we worked really well, and we’ll try to do that every match until the end, because that’s the way we like to play for our fans.”

With 10 matches of the campaign remaining, Wolves remain eighth and on the cusp of the European places heading into Sunday’s trip to Everton, where they will again be without injured full-backs Ki-Jana Hoever and Nelson Semedo.

Yet Neves insisted they are paying no attention to their place in the standings, merely taking one fixture at a time.

“I know we are always saying the same thing, but it’s the truth, we go game by game,” he said. “We don’t look at the table, we look to ourselves, to the way we play, and the things we need to improve.

“That’s our way to work, since I came here, and it’s been successful for us, thinking about the next match.”

Neves courted the headlines for his 85th-minute finish against Watford, controlling the ball on the edge of the box before expertly lofting an inch-perfect finish over goalkeeper Ben Foster.

“It was a good goal,” he added. “I practise it a lot in training to be honest. The goalkeepers don’t like it, it’s something that’s really hard for them, because the ball goes to the second post and they are never expecting that.”

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Lage has been particularly struck by his fellow Portuguese, adding: “This is the first time I’ve worked with Ruben and it’s a big pleasure. He wants to improve. He’s an amazing guy, a top player and deserves all the best.”

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