Soccer-Wolves dismiss coach Lage with club in relegation zone

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - London Stadium, London, Britain - October 1, 2022 Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Bruno Lage Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - Wolverhampton Wanderers sacked their Portuguese manager Bruno Lage on Sunday following a poor start to the Premier League campaign, with the club languishing in the relegation zone after one win in their opening eight games.

Wolves have managed to score only three goals so far and Saturday's 2-0 defeat at West Ham United was their fourth of the season, leaving them in 18th place with six points.

Lage, 46, succeeded compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo in June 2021 and led the club to a 10th place finish but has presided over a slump in form stretching back to last season. They have won just one and lost nine of their last 15 league games.

"Bruno is an excellent coach, a hardworking and dedicated manager, and a warm, wise and honest man," Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said in a statement.

"I honestly have no doubts about Bruno's ability, and I'm sure he will succeed elsewhere, however the team's form and performances over the last few months mean that we have no choice but to act.

"He and his staff have been a pleasure to work with throughout their time at Wolves, so it is with much sadness that we have had to make what has been a difficult decision."

Youth team coaches Steve Davis and James Collins will prepare the team for Saturday's trip to Chelsea.

Wolves made a strong start to 2021-22 in Lage's debut campaign and were sixth at the end of November but their hopes of securing European football tailed off after an alarming seven-game winless run in the closing weeks of the season.

A hefty transfer window outlay of more than 100 million pounds ($111.60 million) in a bid to improve on last term's tally of 38 league goals had raised expectations at Molineux but their dismal goal-shy run has continued into the current season.

Wolves brought in Portuguese internationals Goncalo Guedes and Matheus Nunes - the latter for a reported club record fee - and last month signed veteran striker Diego Costa on a free transfer after injuries to Sasa Kalajdzic and Raul Jimenez.

However, their only win this season came against Southampton - a 1-0 home victory in early September - and they have failed to score in five of their eight league games.

($1 = 0.8961 pounds)

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal and Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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