Mel Eves believes Wolves flier Adama Traore needs to become more of a goal threat – and learn from Sheffield United in the process.
Traore wasn’t as effective as he has been in recent games as United boss Chris Wilder revealed after the 1-1 they had a plan to try to nullify the electric winger.
But former Wolves forward and League Cup winner Eves reckons Traore can develop further by getting into scoring positions more.
“They can learn a little bit from Sheffield United in being brave enough to get that extra man in the box,” Eves told Radio BBC WM.
“Sometimes for example, Adama Traore doesn’t get in the box enough for me, although he is different class when he gets the ball outside it.
“He could get himself more goals at the far post, especially when the ball is on the left-hand side.”
Eves cites Matt Doherty, who scored Wolves’ equaliser, as an example to follow for Traore, who is currently playing further up the pitch than the Ireland international.
Doherty, 27, took his tally to 25 goals for Wolves – and 30 in total – in 272 senior appearances in gold and black, some feat considering most of those games have been at right back. Traore has netted four times in 59 games for Wolves.
“It took one of the wing backs, Matt Doherty, to get in there,” said Eves. “Doc is good in the air and is great at timing his runs, as we saw in the Europa League game against Braga – he just drifts in there and he doesn’t get picked up.
“I think the Doc is brilliant, and with Traore coming to the party as well, Wolves have real threats down the right hand side.”
Eves is looking for Diogo Jota to be as effective on the left as his two team-mates are on the right wing.
Jota endured a frustrating afternoon against the Blades, firing off target late on and running into trouble on occasions.
“We just need Diogo Jota to start coming up with that end product,” added Eves. “He’s doing virtually everything apart from getting it into the net.”
Wolves played their 27th game of the season at the weekend – a dozen more than several of their Premier League rivals.
Yet they have scored more goals from 75 to 90 minutes than any other team in the top flight, which shows considerable levels of fitness and stamina, as well as determination.
“All credit has got to go to Nuno and the backroom team that are preparing the players, it’s excellent,” said Eves.
Wolves and Sheffield United completed the weekend in sixth and seventh places respectively, testament to the excellent work their managers have done.
United are in their first season in the Premier League again after two promotions in three years.
Several players such as Chris Basham, John Fleck and Jack O’Connell are still regulars in their Premier League team now after helping the Blades to promotion from League One in 2016-17.
Others such as Simon Moore, Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke remain part of the squad after sharing the same journey, while George Baldock, John Egan and John Lundstram have all had spells in the third tier in recent seasons.
Eves, who spent two years at Bramall Lane as a player after leaving Wolves in 1984, says the achievements of both head coaches rang them among the best in the country.
“Nuno has taken Wolves to the Premier League, but some of the players at Sheffield United were mainstays in taking them out of League One, let alone the Championship, so I think he (Chris Wilder) is right up there,” he said.
“They’re two of the best managers in the Premier League, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Eves was hugely impressed with United’s workrate and ambition to push Wolves all the way.
“It was an excellent game to watch. Wolves were good and Sheffield United showed why they’re unbeaten away from home,” he said.
“They worked their socks off, they’re very organised, very brave going forwards as well, and they have a lot of energy in the side.
“They have no what you would call superstars, but everybody works for the team – that’s the ethos and the secret.
“I think that (Wolves back three coming under pressure) was down to Sheffield United being really positive and brave, but with Rui Patricio behind them, we still looked fairly solid.
“Sheffield created one or two chances and didn’t punish Wolves, but Wolves had their moments as well.”
Nuno’s odds of taking over at Arsenal and everyone pretty certain he’s going to stay where he is:
“That’s good news. When these jobs come up, it’s always a credit to the club if Nuno is linked, because it shows the club are doing very well and Nuno’s doing well.
“It’s the same when any players get linked. We talk about Jimenez (being linked with other clubs) and others, but you have to deal with that.
“Yoy would rather have your manager and players being linked to clubs as opposed to not because it shows they’re doing well.”