Wolves boss Bruno Lage heaped praise on Daniel Podence and Fabio Silva after Wanderers secured safe passage to the FA Cup fourth round following a 3-0 win over Sheffield United.
Podence bagged a brace for his first goals since scoring against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup on September 22, opening his account after 14 minutes on Sunday when he was teed up by Silva following a mistake from Jack Robinson.
Semedo doubled Wolves’ lead after 72 minutes, putting the finishing touches to a move started by a precision long ball forward from Podence, who soon afterwards tapped into an empty net to add gloss to the scoreline.
Podence began this season on the fringes of the Wolves team but the former Olympiacos forward has now started the last four games and Lage is pleased with what his fellow Portuguese is offering.
Lage said: “I’m very happy with him. He’s working hard. Every time he comes from the bench he helps the team and now in the last two months he’s doing very well.
“He offers the team a lot and he understands better what I want from him. What I want and what I believe he can give us, he’s doing very well and I’m happy for him.”
On the win itself, he added: “In the end if you look at what we did in the 90 minutes, we were the better team, we created more chances and scored more goals, so we deserved to continue in the competition.”
Silva, signed for a club record £35million in September 2020, has also struggled under Lage and this was his first start since that League Cup defeat to Spurs, having impressed in a cameo in the 1-0 win at Manchester United.
He did not disappoint at Molineux, either. As well as grabbing an assist, he showed plenty of finesse and could have been on the scoresheet himself but for the fingertips of Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
Lage added: “Remember what Fabio did, he had a good tempo for 45 minutes, especially what he did in the first goal. Fabio played in the League Cup against Tottenham, it was a big difference.
“These kind of things you conquer in the training, that’s where we work and the players need to convince me of their changes. To be fair, Fabio has worked hard.
“In the last month or one month and a half, Fabio every time comes inside to try to help with the team, he’s working hard every day.
“If I see play like he’s done in the training and in the last 10 minutes against Manchester United and here as well, I’m very happy for sure and he will get more time. With that time he will score goals for us.”
Sheffield United had an equaliser chalked off because of Billy Sharp’s high foot while earlier on the Blades captain shot wide and then David McGoldrick spurned two chances before Wolves took the lead.
It was an unhappy return to the ground where their relegation from the Premier League last season was confirmed although boss Paul Heckingbottom, handed his first defeat as Blades boss, felt the scoreline was unfair.
He said: “That’s the frustrating thing: in my eyes it wasn’t a 3-0 in terms of opportunities, possession and just the style of game.
“It’s a a horrible feeling when you’re three down, it’s the last few minutes of a cup tie, you’re away at a Premier League team and they’re keeping the ball.
“Listen, everyone can see where the game was lost, we started really, really well, didn’t take our opportunities, then at the other end we gave them opportunities and they took them, that was the difference.”