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Wolves sack head coach Bruno Lage after sorry start

By Harry Carr

London, Oct. 2: Wolves have sacked head coach Bruno Lage after their dismal start to the Premier League season.

Lage, who led Benfica to the Portuguese top-flight title in 2019, replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at Molineux in June 2021.

While Lage initially enjoyed good results, leading Wolves into contention for European qualification last season, they trailed off badly to finish the 2021-22 campaign in 10th position.

Despite the likes of Matheus Nunes, Goncalo Guedes and Nathan Collins arriving during a busy transfer window, Lage has failed to reverse their slide this season, overseeing a return of just six points from their first eight Premier League matches.

They sit 18th in the table, with only Nottingham Forest and Leicester City worse off.

Following Saturday's 2-0 defeat at West Ham, Wolves are winless in eight Premier League away games (D2 L6), their worst such run since a sequence of 10 road matches without victory between August 2011 and January 2012.

Meanwhile, Wolves' tally of three goals this season is the lowest tally in the Premier League, and the club's joint-worst return at this stage of a top-flight season, also having managed three in 2003-04 when they were relegated.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi described Lage as "an excellent coach, a hardworking and dedicated manager, and a warm, wise and honest man", and said the "difficult" decision to dismiss him was made "with much sadness".

"I honestly have no doubts about Bruno's ability, and I'm sure he will succeed elsewhere," Shi said. "However, the team's form and performances over the last few months mean that we have no choice but to act."

Wolves travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in their next Premier League outing on Saturday, with coaches Steve Davis and James Collins placed in temporary charge.

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Story first published: Sunday, October 2, 2022, 22:54 [IST]
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