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Neves could leave Wolves as he chases Champions League football
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Nick Mashiter
Press Association
Ruben Neves salutes the Wolves fans on Saturday (Nick Potts/PA)
Ruben Neves salutes the Wolves fans on Saturday (Nick Potts/PA)

Ruben Neves admits he wants to play in the Champions League and faces a hard decision over his Wolves future.

The 26-year-old midfielder is expected to leave Molineux this summer after six years at the club.

Neves, who has made 252 appearances and scored 30 goals, was given a standing ovation and left the pitch to embraces from his team-mates when he came off late in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Everton.

It added to the belief he has played his last game at Molineux and the Portugal international has ambitions.

He said: “I want to be here but I never hide that I want to play Champions League football. It’s a hard decision. Me and my family love it here, but in football you have to go for your main goals.

“Nothing’s happened yet. If it was my last game here I really enjoyed it and I’m very thankful for the last six seasons.”

Wolves were forced to settle for a draw after Yerry Mina’s leveller in the last minute of stoppage time cancelled out Hwang Hee-Chan’s opener.

Referee David Coote played nine minutes of added time and Neves questioned him on it.

He told PLP: “The only thing I can say is the nine minutes (of stoppage time). I asked the ref why. He said they’ve been asked to play exact times. I don’t know why they haven’t been doing it all season.

“If you want to do it, you need to do it all season and not only in the last two games.

“We’ve had some games here where they (only) gave four or five minutes. They said we’re the Premier League, not the World Cup. Now they are trying to be the World Cup.”

The draw left Everton two points above the bottom three, before Leeds’ game at West Ham on Sunday.

“We’ve been trying to build a mentality and I think that’s been evident in a lot of games,” said boss Sean Dyche.

“Sometimes it’s got away from us, as have the details, but the mentality has been right and it was firm again today. The never-say-die, relentless attitude I like from my teams.

“The players are beginning to understand it and deliver it more and more. I said to them at half-time ‘lads, big players, big performances are not always about tactics.'”

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