Good run but Wolves boss Nuno still sees plenty of room to improve

Four unbeaten and only one goal conceded along the way – but Nuno Espirito insists Wolves have not been in great form.

Nuno Espirito Santo the head coach / manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Nuno Espirito Santo the head coach / manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With Nuno having been nominated for the Premier League’s manager of the month award for October while skipper Conor Coady is up for the player gong, many feel it has been a fine spell.

But the Portuguese is searching for more ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Leicester as he said: “It’s not great form. The team has a lot of things to improve.

“We’ve been able to produce performances, but to say the team is in great form is not correct.

“This is the reality. All the teams have had a very quick turnaround and you can see football has changed, the dynamic of the game has changed a lot.

“Even in the Champions League, there have been crazy results.

“So, you cannot risk and think you’re already there, because you’re not.”

Wolves, though, have undeniably tightened up at the back as of late.

Since the 4-0 thrashing at West Ham, they have looked far more solid – Max Kilman impressing on the left of the back three in recent weeks – and Nuno said: “The West Ham game clearly showed us. It was our main focus after that.

“The West Ham game was a big moment for us in terms of what we needed.

“You cannot be in a game if you’re not strong enough defensively, you cannot even think about competing well, so the starting point was obvious.

“We knew the problems and the solutions were inside of us, and we still have to work.

“We aren’t thinking we are already OK because we’re not. There are a lot of things to improve.”

As Nuno seeks that improvement, perhaps the biggest call he has to make for the King Power clash is who to go for at left-wing-back.

Rayan Ait-Nouri enjoyed a dream debut against Crystal Palace – opening the scoring in the 2-0 win – but Fernando Marcal has been back in training after missing that game with a slight knock.

Romain Saiss, who filled in there for a couple of weeks, is an outside shout as well.

Rayan Ait-Nouri of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)

On the situation, Nuno said: “Rayan had his chance and did well.

“The goal was focused on, but this is not what we look at.

“He has a lot of things to work on. He has to have the knowledge and the main idea of the shape of the team.

“He needs to speed up his English as that will be a big help.

“Not only Marcal, we have Romain who did amazing when the team didn’t have a solution.

“He stepped in and did so well in a position he had not played in before, so we have options and it’s good to have them.”

Leicester, meanwhile, have been in fine scoring form, having put four past both Leeds and Braga this week.

They are second in the table with five wins and two losses, and Nuno is a big fan of Brendan Rodgers and his team.

“I look at Leicester with real admiration, not only because of what they achieved before as Premier League champions, but also through the loss of their owner and how they united as a club,” he said.

“To be able to overcome such a sad moment and be strong again and compete like they are doing, it’s a big compliment for them.

“So, I have big admiration for Leicester as a club.”

The Foxes, though, did take a slight dig at Wolves on social media earlier this week.

Ahead their 4-0 win over Braga on Thursday night, they tweeted along with a photo of players James Maddison and Marc Albrighton laughing: “The first of two games against Portuguese opponents this week.”

Responding to that, Nuno – who is not thought to have any significant injury worries – added: “We are a Premier League club, English club.

“We represent the values and a lot of things from the place we like very much, which is Wolverhampton.

“Wolverhampton is in the UK, the West Midlands, and we are very proud of it.”

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