Nuno wants to show Sevilla what Wolves have become
Nuno Espirito Santo has called for Wolves to impose their ‘identity’ on Sevilla tonight.
The Portuguese is ever so proud of how his side have done things over his three years in charge, now sitting pretty among the Europa League’s last eight.
And he wants them to carry on exactly what has brought them to the dance, as he said: “It’s been a long journey – and not only this season.
“It started three years ago in the Championship, with basically the same group of players.
“It was about building a tram and trying to create an identity.
“And we look forward to this game, to compete well and play a good game.
“Over three seasons, we’ve been able to create an identity.
“That is one of the most precious things that you can have in football, to have an identity.
“It is based on a style of play, on how you socialise and how you stick to rules and tasks.
“It’s about how we deal with problems that happen along the way.
“We’ve tried to create a team, recruiting and improving players.
“Some of them take more time, some of them not.
“This is what it’s all about. Alongside that, we have to manage the results.
“I’m very, very proud. I’m proud of the way we have done things.
“Now, I think we can say that we have our own identity. It is based on strong foundations of respect and hard work, so this is what we want to show against Sevilla.
“We’re a good team, with identity, and we are committed to the challenge.
“The foundations are very, very strong as there is a great bond among the members of the squad.”
A key player in creating that identity has been Jonny Castro Otto – one of the most consistent performers of the Nuno era.
The Spaniard, though, is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Such injuries tend to take six to nine months to recover from, and an operation has been arranged.
Otto has not made the trip as Wolves aim to finish the European journey in grand fashion, but Nuno said: “Jonny is an amazing, important player for us.
“He’s been with us for some time now and is a fantastic boy, a truly important member of the team.
“We wish him all the best. We know he’s going to be outside, but his spirit is here with us.”
Wolves will also be without fans to cheer them on in Duisburg, and Nuno added: “It’s so sad, to come to a stadium and know the fans will not be there.
“It’s terrible, but it’s the reality and we have to get through it.
“We know they will be back in Wolverhampton supporting us.”