Wolves head coach Bruno Lage says he won’t “waste time with guys who don’t work hard” after blaming an injury to Ki-Jana Hoever on the right-back not being prepared.
The 20-year-old, starting only his second game since December after keeping his place in the absence of Nelson Semedo, had to be substituted in the 25th minute of their 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace with what looked like a hamstring strain.
Wolves were outclassed by Palace after first-half goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and a Wilfried Zaha penalty dented their top-four hopes and inflicted a third consecutive league defeat.
Lage was furious with his team’s display but took aim at his younger players in the wake of Hoever’s injury which was blamed on the Dutchman’s lack of preparation.
“Ki is a good example of the young kids, they want everything to happen [now],” said Lage in his post-match press conference. “When you are out and your teammate is playing, and you are not training at the intensity, you are not preparing yourself and after, when you have a chance, these kinds of things happen.
“I have too many kids in my team that sometimes don’t work the way they should work. They do not prepare the way they should prepare and after, when they come inside [the team], these kinds of things happen.
“When they are in training they are thinking a lot, ‘Oh I’m not playing’, and I said to them in the first day when I started, ‘We are here, you need to continue to work. The first target is to work and improve.’
“Injuries can happen, but this one happened because he was not prepared because Ki sometimes doesn’t work in the same intensity. This warning is not only for Ki, it’s for all the kids we have in our team.