Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City: The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
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Bruno Lage says Leander Dendoncker didn't understand his role for Wolves in the first-half against Norwich

Wolves manager Bruno Lage has said Leander Dendoncker didn’t fully understand his role during Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to Norwich City.

Wanderers are out of the competition after a 1-0 loss at Molineux – the club’s first defeat of 2022.

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It was a really disappointing performance and result given the form the team has been in.

Wolves just couldn’t threaten the Canaries, and were seriously poor in the first-half in particular.

It could have been that the winter break came at the wrong time for Wolves.

The lacklustre display was a big disappointment, and Lage attempted to explain the performance after the game.

Interestingly, he singled out Dendoncker as someone who didn’t quite grasp what his role was meant to be.

He said (Express & Star): “It’s different and they need to understand it. In the first half Leander didn’t understand that his position should be more in between the lines so the winger doesn’t close him.

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“He received more balls in front of the winger and not between the winger and the left-back to create problems. In the second half it was different.”

Dendoncker did eventually do what was required, and Wolves improved slightly after the break. But Wanderers still had trouble breaking Norwich down and could not recover after Kenny McLean’s goal.

“Second-half was different with Leander higher and after with the changes we can receive the ball to create our chances”, Lage added. “A different position and a different tempo in the game.”

Leander Dendoncker did nothing for his starting prospects in defeat to Norwich defeat

Dendoncker is already up against it at Wolves with the Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho partnership blossoming this season.

It was a chance for him to stake a claim yesterday, and really dominate things in midfield.

Photo by Sam Bagnall – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

But the 26-year-old wasted his opportunity.

Dendoncker has his uses, but he doesn’t seem all that comfortable operating as a player between the lines.

It feels as though that kind of role demands someone a bit more technical.