Adama Traore’s targeting by Premier League defenders is relentless according to Wolves captain Conor Coady – who claims referees can’t stop it.
Three Tottenham players – Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Harry Kane – were booked for fouling Traore in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Molineux, making it 24 players booked for fouls on him in 26 games this season.
The statistics confirm the 23-year-old flier is being deliberately pinpointed by opposition players, but Cpady wants more protection for the speedy winger.
“We were a bit gutted with the amount of fouls they put in on him,” said the skipper. “They’re just going for him one after another and the referees are telling us they can’t do anything about it – which I understand to an extent, but it’s just relentless.”
Traore’s temperament cannot by faulted however, as he has never once reacted to any rough treatment he has received.
“He’s outstanding, he’s been outstanding all season, he’s contributing a lot to this team and he’s a fantastic footballer, but more importantly, a brilliant person,” added Coady.
Coady admitted Wolves should have done better for the winning goal in stoppage time after Jan Vertonghen stooped to head home Christian Eriksen’s corner.
Joao Moutinho, who was marking the left back, appeared to look away and try to connect with his foot rather than challenge in the air and Coady admits their approach wasn’t good enough.
“We’ve just looked back at (the second goal) and I think it was Vertonghen’s first movement into the box, so I think that’s caught us by surprise,” he said.
“But we have to be responsive as players and take authority on the pitch and we haven’t done that.
“We gave him too much space and he was able to head it into the corner. We have to look at that to get better.
“We’ve improved again, but we conceded two goals which we shouldn’t concede – the last one in particular.
“We’ve got to manage the game better, it’s as simple as that, and from our point of view it’s disappointing. But if you look at the game as a whole, we’ve dominated a top team like Tottenham from start to finish.
“I didn’t feel like they had much, so it’s disappointing from our point of view, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and keep moving forward.”
Wolves dropped to eighth in the table after Spurs leapfrogged them, but Coady is unconcerned about the league standings at this point, preferring to concentrate on the bigger picture.
“It’s not about who overtakes whoever, it’s Christmas time and it’s all about winning games and making sure we’re improving with every game,” he said.
“You’ve got to take the positives in this league when you come up against a team like that with top class players.”