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Neves: Wolves must find a way to break down ‘defensive’ teams

Ruben Neves admits Wolves must ‘find solutions’ to beat ‘defensive’ teams such as Newcastle.

Wolves dominated the injury-hit Magpies, forcing two fine saves from Martin Dubravka through Raul Jimenez and Pedro Neto, while Matt Doherty had an effort cleared off the line by Matty Longstaff.

Newcastle, who were without nine players going into the game, failed to force a chance after Miguel Almiron gave them a seventh-minute lead, which was quickly cancelled out by Leander Dendoncker.

The Geordies lost Paul Dummett and Dwight Gayle to hamstring injuries by the 28th minute, while striker Joelinton played with a groin problem through most of the second half.

We have to find the solutions to win these kinds of games because we know we have quality to do that,” said Neves.

We are frustrated because we know we should have won the game because we controlled it.

Maybe in the first 10 minutes they were better than us, but after that, we controlled all the match.

It was a difficult game. It’s really hard to play against Newcastle, as they’re a really defensive team. They started the game better than us and unfortunately, we conceded the goal.

After that, we reacted well, but it’s really difficult to find spaces against these kinds of teams. Even with that, we had very good chances to score. Their goalkeeper had a great game, unfortunately for us.

They didn’t have any chances, we had our chances, we played with the ball a lot of the time.”

Neves believes Steve Bruce’s side set out to deliberately stop Wolves playing by packing their defence and getting multiple men behind the ball, as well as time-wasting.

The teams know us already – they know we are a really fast team on the attack, so they tried to stop us to do that, which is a normal thing,” the midfielder told wolves.co.uk

There was too much time stopped in the game as well – loads of small fouls, and they spent a bit of the game time-wasting, but that’s football, and we need to try to work harder to get better results in the future.

We are just working, training hard to get the way of the victories again.”

Wolves have gone four games without a win – their equal longest spell of the season – and Neves says they are determined to end that sequence with victory in their FA Cup third round replay at Manchester United on Wednesday, with the winners facing a trip to either last season’s finalists Watford or League One Tranmere.

We need to now think about the next game and keep working hard,” said the Portugal international.

It’s really important. It’s another competition. We play to win all the games – it doesn’t matter the competition, and Wednesday will be like this, so we’ll play to win, try to do our best to get to the next round.”