Nuno Espirito Santo has revealed Wolves had not trained with Adama Traore as a second striker before the pacy winger’s match-winning turn up front against Southampton.
Wolves switched Barcelona youth product Traore from the flank to a new central role at half-time at St Mary’s on Saturday, and the visitors overturned a two-goal deficit for a stunning 3-2 Premier League victory.
Powerhouse winger Traore teed up Pedro Neto before laying on the winner for Raul Jimenez, as Wolves floored the in-form Saints with a second-half salvo to savour.
The turnaround left boss Nuno in high praise of his players for their ability to adjust on the fly, even into an entirely new system, to pull off a fine smash-and-grab Premier League win.
“We just put Adama more in the middle,” said Nuno. “When you adjust during the game, inside the stress of the game, and he immediately produces, it’s a big step for you.
“We don’t have time to be in the training ground so these solutions we have to give, and we did.
“It was amazing. That was very important for us.”
Mexico hitman Jimenez took his tally to 19 for all competitions with a coolly-taken brace, converting a penalty before whipping home the winner.
The 28-year-old then fired a warning to Wolves’ Premier League rivals that Nuno’s side simply refuse to know when they are beaten.
Wolves appeared flat and leaden-footed in a sluggish first-half where Saints dominated, with Jan Bednarek and Shane Long putting the hosts in control at the break.
The Molineux men appeared wholly reinvigorated after the break however, shaking off any worries amid the 39th match of an already hectic season given their Europa League exploits.
“Most of the time this season we have been behind and come back in the second-half,” Jimenez told Wolves’ official club website.
“We work hard, never give up on a lost ball, and we always go to the same place, with everyone fighting for each other.
“We need to keep going until the last minute and keep trying to score, keep playing our football.
“The opportunities came at the end of the match, and we have a win we deserve.”
Saints’ Republic of Ireland forward Long claimed his first goal of the season in his 17th appearance of the campaign, breaking a scoring duck dating back to April.
And now Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl hopes that can spur the 32-year-old into regular scoring form.
“It’s important for him to score, it was a beautiful goal with a great cross from Cedric,” said Hasenhuttl.
“I’m very happy for him that he scored and he has his first goal, and hopefully that can push him forward to get more now.
“Obviously it’s greatly disappointing to lose, but we didn’t deserve anything in the end because of our performance in the second half.
“It wasn’t our afternoon. We had a fantastic turn the last few weeks. But games like this can happen.”
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