Steve Davis revealed that fatigue was the reason behind the decision not to start Adama Traore for Wolves against Brighton.
The star has been one of Wanderers’ better performers in recent weeks.
He got his first Premier League goal of the season against Crystal Palace last month, and has been a threat in most of the games following that.
So fans were very perplexed when the team news dropped yesterday at 2pm to show Traore was only on the bench.
Instead, it was Goncalo Guedes on the right, Daniel Podence on the left and Hwang Hee-chan through the middle.
Him being on the bench didn’t actually sting too much for Wolves, who did score two goals in the game, which is definitely a rareity.
Guedes had probably his best game since coming to the club in the summer.
Davis said that the decision to bench Traore was somewhat enforced.
He revealed: “His fatigue last week at Brentford was very evident. He ran very little in the game, so we bared that in mind this week and his load in training was quite low, and we saw signs of fatigue in his body.
“I was very cautious today about playing him in that situation because the last time we did it, he got injured.
“The last thing we need right now is to lose Adama, not just for this week, but going forward. We can’t afford to be without any player, especially with three games in seven days.”
Prior to the game with Brighton, Traore had started six Premier League games in a row.
Under Bruno Lage, he didn’t start a single game in 2022/23.
Sensible management from Davis, Wolves can’t be losing Traore to injury
If Traore needed the rest then it’s fair enough.
Wolves simply cannot risk him getting injured, as he has reminded everyone in recent weeks what a huge threat he is.
It is important for him to stay fit, because Wolves have already lost Pedro Neto.
With Costa unavailable, it made sense to go with a different dynamic anyway against Brighton. Traore had been putting in a lot of crosses for the veteran.
Wolves did lose the game, but Guedes and Hwang both did well and may have given Davis something to think about in the next couple of games.