Bruno Lage is celebrating his first Christmas as Wolves manager.

So what better time to look at four things which have changed at Molineux since Nuno Espirito Santo’s final festive period in charge?

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Experiment with four-man defence shelved

In Wolves’ final game before Christmas 2020, Nuno tried a back four away at Burnley and suffered a 2-1 defeat.

Lage toyed with a back four in pre-season, but has not experimented with it in the Premier League at all yet.

There is little doubt many Wolves fans would like to see it at some point and it might be the formation the club needs to get to the next level.

But Nuno never mastered the switch, and Lage has decided to tweak the three-man defensive system to get the points on the board nice and early.

It remains to be seen when Lage will try a four-man defence again but it does not appear as it will be any time soon.

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Jimenez is back

The impact of Raul Jimenez’s absence cannot be overstated.

This time last year, Wolves were just getting used to the idea of being without him for a number of months and in truth it derailed the season.

Whatever Lage tries to achieve has a higher chance of success with Jimenez back in the side now and his return lifted the whole club.

It could perhaps be argued that the Mexican is not back to his old best form, so hopefully 2022 will be the year for that.

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More proactive style

Wolves want to impress themselves on teams more under Lage, rather than just waiting for mistakes.

That evolution is not complete by any means but it is underway and it needed to happen.

Wolves were never going to become an established long-term European team with lofty ambitions by waiting for errors.

Lage realised that and the wheels are in motion in the right direction.

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Fresh optimism

The Nuno era went stale but it would have been a huge to sack him mid-season.

Wolves needed a change and they have been given a breath of fresh air in Lage.

The outlook is more positive now, and it is to be hoped that Lage can build on the strong foundation and the points accumulated in the first half of the season to shape Wolves even more in his image in 2022.

At the very least, there is intrigue and interest in what came next. By the end with Nuno, there were no unknowns and that can create boredom, but that is not the case this Christmas.

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