Bruno Lage has explained the reasons why he decided to name Raul Jimenez on the bench for Wolves yesterday.

The team ran out 3-2 winners against Aston Villa at Villa Park, with Ruben Neves scoring in the 95th minute to complete a remarkable comeback.

Bruno Lage Press Conference
Bruno Lage (Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

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Villa were 2-0 with 10 minutes to go plus injury time.

They really should have seen the game out.

But Wolves battled back and took three more points, meaning it is now 12 from the last 15 available.

Despite getting the three points, Wolves did not play all that well in the game yesterday.

It can be argued that Wolves really missed Raul Jimenez, who was named on the bench by Lage.

News of the starting XI concerned a few supporters, and Lage has since explained his decision.

Mexico v Honduras - Concacaf 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
Raul Jimenez (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

He said (via Birmingham Mail): “Raul is very important for us and the way we play. But also the other players are important. I don’t want to take risks with top players.

“Maybe I need to protect Saiss more because he played more time than Raul for his national team, but my concern is about the travel. The flight was too much time, he just arrived, he feels tired, he wants to play.


“I put him to warm up and every time he was saying ‘I want to go inside (the team), I want to go inside’, but I preferred to go with Daniel.

“I don’t want to take risks with him because we don’t have a big squad and I don’t want injuries because we don’t make the best decisions.”

Jimenez was eventually introduced to the action on 88 minutes, as Wolves were chasing a winner.

This after the 30-year-old was giving Lage ‘daggers’, according to journalist Tim Spiers.

Jimenez had played a lot

It is understandable that Lage wanted to protect Jimenez.

Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Raul Jimenez (Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Prior to yesterday’s game, he had played every minute of every Premier League game, and over the international break he played three times for Mexico for a total of 184 minutes.

Thankfully Wolves were able to get the three points, although it’s clear how much better a side they are with the Mexican starting.

Hopefully he will be refreshed and raring to go again against Leeds United on Saturday.

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