Julen Lopetegui has rubbished talk that Wolves are ‘nearly safe’ and compared their fight against relegation to pregnancy.
In his pre-match media conference ahead of Saturday’s local derby with Aston Villa, the Wolves head coach repeatedly tried to shut down suggestions that his side are within touching distance of securing their Premier League status.
And the Spaniard who led the club into 14th place in the table with 37 points and four league games left, used an unexpected metaphor to highlight his point.
“You are pregnant or you are not pregnant, this is my answer,” said Lopetegui when asked whether safety was now “in sight”.
“Until we are pregnant we are not pregnant.
“It’s true in football. Sometimes you want to spend money you don’t have yet. Be careful.
“This is football and we have to be ready. It is always the last step that is most difficult in sports.
“I know that and my players do.”
Lopetegui’s side suffered their worst Premier League defeat ever last weekend. They lost 6-0 to Brighton, after having won three of their four previous games and moved away from the relegation zones.
The top three teams in the relegation battle have four games left.
Lopetegui reacted with a sneer at any suggestion that he would feel relaxed having taken over a bottom-placed side.
“I don’t understand this question, sorry,” he said. “We are in the middle of the battle like a lot of teams.
“That’s why we have to put 100 per cent of our energy into the next match.
“This is football. We have to be ready until the end, and on Saturday we have a challenge and I’m sure the fans will understand the importance of our match because we are going to need their help.
“We are going to need the environment in the match and this energy in the bad moments because the opponents are going to demand a lot.”
Wolves’ remaining fixtures
Wolves vs Aston Villa — May 6, 2009
Manchester United vs Wolves — May 13, 2013
Wolves vs Everton — May 20, 2019
Arsenal vs Wolves — May 28
Nunes, a mystery, is a leader who lacks leadership. Gomes, out wide, does not work.
Photo by Getty Images
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