Wolves' Brazilian striker wants an improvement against Sunderland

Star striker Leo Bonatini was not satisfied with Wolves' performance in Monday's derby victory at Birmingham City '“ and is demanding an improvement when Sunderland visit Molineux this weekend.

Thursday, 7th December 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:21 am

The Championship leaders stayed four points clear when Bonatini’s early strike secured all three points at St Andrews, their 15th win of the league season.

Second-bottom Sunderland, with just two victories on the board, are next in the firing line on Saturday, with Wolves having the incentive of reaching 50 points if they can beat Chris Coleman’s men.

Reflecting on Monday’s match, Bonatini told the Express and Star: “We knew it would be a tough game for us.

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“We expected for us to play more and better, but what the mister (boss Nuno Espirito Santo) said to us we went a long time without playing and I think we felt a bit of that.

“But the most important thing is we took three points.

“Now we need to think about the next game in front of our fans – we should try to play better and give them a victory.

“We feel we have things to improve. We know that.

“The next game will be hard as well. We’re happy to be at home – the fans are helping us a lot.

“We need to know how to play all these games. We know we could play better, but the most important thing is we got three points.

“We’ll try to improve this week to arrive in the next game and play better.”

The impressive Brazilian, on loan from Al-Hilal, has managed 12 goals this term to lead Wolves’ push for promotion to the Premier League.

But he is taking nothing for granted, despite the 10-point advantage to third-top Bristol City.

“We need to work hard because it’s not done, we have a lot of games and a long season to play with difficult games,” added the 23-year-old.

“We need to think step by step, game by game. There are many points to play for.”

And he is relishing life under Nuno, saying: “Nuno is a coach that leaves us free on the pitch to do what we want – to play football and be free.

“Every week he gives us information on who we play, what we’ll find on the pitch, what we need to do to try to beat them.

“We have a good staff that give us all the information.

“We just need to follow the instructions and the advice.

“The most important thing is we don’t need to put ourselves under pressure, we should enjoy what we like to do.

“I enjoy it with all the guys, not just (Diogo) Jota and (Ivan) Cavaleiro – all the team and those who aren’t in the team, they’re working really hard too.

“We feel comfortable with them. It’s a family.”

Sunderland have won just once in their last 12 visits to Molineux, a 1-0 victory, thanks to a last-gasp Kevin Ball goal, in 1997-98.

Since then, Wolves have managed three 1-1 draws and three wins by the odd goal.

Last time, in 2011/12, Steven Fletcher’s brace turned it around for Wolves after Kieran Richardson put Sunderland, under the caretaker charge of Eric Black ahead of Martin O’Neill’s appointment, ahead.