Wolves skipper Conor Coady hoping for double joy at Slovan Bratislava and Newcastle United
Conor Coady is eager to end the week with back-to-back victories as Wolves bid to enhance their Europa League and Premier League credentials.
Coady, 26, says the international break was a much-needed rest for the majority of Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad.
Wolves went into the two-week break on the back of three straight wins over Watford, Turkish side Besiktas and champions Manchester City.
Wolves extended that unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw with Southampton at Molineux on Saturday.
And after that perfect week before the break propelled Wolves out of the relegation zone in the Premier League and a point off their Europa League group leaders Slovan Bratislava, Coady is hungry for more of the same when they face the Slovakian side on Thursday and head to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Coady said: “It (the international break) was needed. We’ve had a lot of games but we are ready for the next cycle now. We’ve got another big cycle of games coming up, two massive ones this week and we want to improve on today and hopefully get two wins.”
Coady and fellow centre-half Willy Boly will have to wait to see who will partner them in defence as Wolves sweat on the fitness of experienced duo Romain Saiss and Ryan Bennett.
Saiss went off in the 2-0 win at City, but flew out to Bratislava today.
His replacement Bennett limping off a fortnight later in that draw with the Saints.
That injury saw Jesus Vallejo take the spot on the right of the back three, before midfielder Ruben Neves also departed injured at the break.
The trio join striker Pedro Neto in the treatment room, but Nuno’s side were boosted by the return of forward Diogo Jota from a foot injury on Saturday.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding who will start in that front three on Thursday night in Slovakia, Coady believes there are no issues as to who comes into the side.
But he did stress they are hopeful to have everyone back sooner rather than later.
He said: “We want the players to get as fit and healthy as we can, but we’ve got players who can come in to the team at any time, they know the role inside out, how to play in the formation, the way we play... so that’s not an issue in terms of players coming in but we want the boys fit and healthy as quick as possible - we really do.”
And the skipper wants the squad to enjoy the experience as they bid to leapfrog the group leaders.
He said: “It’s another adventure for us, another experience that we are relishing and looking forward to so hopefully we will go there and put on a good performance.
“Let’s go and enjoy ourselves. I’ve heard it’s a sell out, a behind closed doors sell out, it’s a bit mad. “
The Wolves players will play in front of a 21,000 sell-out crowd despite Slovan Bratislava being forced to play behind closed doors due to racism offences.
That is due to under-14s snapping up the tickets, and Coady says the decision to allow youngsters in to the stadium and fill the ground is not for him to comment on.
He said: “We haven’t got a take on it to be honest. We don’t know. UEFA do what UEFA do, it’s up to them. But we only see what we read. We know it’s going to be a big crowd there by the sounds of it. We’re looking forward to it. It’s not for us to say. We play in front of big crowds every week so it’s another experience for us.”