Wolverhampton Wanderers Training Session
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James Collins explains how Bruno Lage has been a breath of fresh air at Wolves

Wolves U23s head coach James Collins has lavished praise on first-team boss Bruno Lage for the amount of interest and understanding he takes in the club’s academy setup and his job.

The Athletic brought a report this morning focusing on Luke Cundle’s first senior start for the club on Sunday.

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The midfielder was a surprise name in the starting XI to face Tottenham Hotspur.

Bruno Lage decided to hand the youngster his first big chance in the absence of the injured Joao Moutinho.

And Cundle performed well, and was solid in possession.

Cundle’s inclusion in the starting XI was a real triumph for those who have worked with him at youth level.

Cundle and some other promising youngsters within the club regularly join up with the first-team for training.

And Collins has spoken of how impressed he’s been with the attention Lage and his staff have given the academy players and the general process.

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He said: “Bruno Lage and all his staff show a real interest, understanding and empathy for my job – developing the U23s – perhaps because they’ve done that in the past and they understand the difficulties of the role.

“That’s been a breath of fresh air for us in the academy and me personally, that they’ll make sure they’re looked after in the first-team quite rightly, that comes first, but not to the detriment of the U23s group.

“Premier League managers have got every right to look after themselves. For him to come in and care about the bigger picture is great for this academy.”

Cundle making his first senior start on Sunday will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration for other young talents coming through.

Bruno Lage is all in at Wolves, and the club is blessed to have him

Wolves are in really good hands right now.

Not only is Lage is doing brilliant things with the first-team, he is also ensuring he is a part of the process with the academy.

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For the players in that academy, that must be so heartening to see.

If anything, they will all be motivated even more to make the progress they need to eventually get a place in the first-team squad, on the bench or who knows, maybe even in the starting XI like Cundle.