Wolves take solace in pack unity after toughest of weeks

It has been a difficult week for Wolves, but great unity has been shown after Raul Jimenez’s injury – and ahead of travelling to Liverpool.

Nuno Espirito Santo embraces skipper Conor Coady after the win at Arsenal (AMA)
Nuno Espirito Santo embraces skipper Conor Coady after the win at Arsenal (AMA)

Seeing the Mexican stretchered off at Arsenal was extremely difficult for Nuno Espirito Santo’s pack but, remarkably, they ran out 2-1 winners at the Emirates.

It was a performance full of heart and ability which did Jimenez proud and if they can produce something similar at Anfield, they have every chance of leaving with something.

The Reds, of course, are the reigning Premier League champions and 64 games unbeaten at home, so they do not get much harder than this.

But it is also worth considering Liverpool are not at full-strength and Wolves, as positive updates on Jimenez have filtered in throughout the week, have had a good period of training ahead of this clash.

On how preparation has been after Jimenez fractured his skull, Nuno said: “It was very serious and everyone was afraid, everyone was worried.

“As the days go by and knowing he is being taken good care of, we have been able to return to a normal situation.

“Now we have to stick together and all our thoughts and prayers go to Raul.

“It was serious, everything is going through your mind, but fortunately he is OK.

“Everything goes through your mind, you see someone you really love and appreciate in a tough situation.

“You are worried, first of all because we all love Raul and he means so much to us, it’s like someone in the family.

“Now everyone is getting back to normal and the best thing is to prepare well and compete.

“Everyone on the pitch was affected but after that, we deal with the situation.

“We support each other and realise that can happen. Fortunately he is OK, it is part of the game, and the best advice we can give each other is to compete well.

“We are going to face a very tough opponent. We are preparing, knowing we are going to face one of the best teams. we are ready and want to compete.

“It’s something we always do, prepare each other as a group.

“We work as a unit, as a pack. If someone is missing, that can only bring us more close to each other to proceed.”

As positive updates on Jimenez have been gratefully received, Wolves have also welcomed Romain Saiss back into the fold after his positive Covid-19 test and subsequent period of self-isolation.

The Moroccan starting against the Reds seems unlikely, but Nuno is glad to have him back given the experience and versatility he brings to the table.

“We have some issues that require proper assessment, and we’re on it,” said Nuno.

“Then, we’ll make the final decisions, but Saiss has been back in training since the beginning of this week. He’s back with the group, thank God.”

Also worth noting is this will be Wolves’ first game in front of fans – albeit not their own – since March.

Liverpool are allowed 2,000 fans as they are in tier two, and Nuno is looking forward to having something more of a normal atmosphere back.

“I am happy. Really happy. We want fans back and there will be 2,000 of them,” he said.

“Even though they are not Wolves fans, they are football fans and this is what the game needs. It needs the fans back in the stadium.

“Honestly, I think it is only positive energy for all the players involved on the pitch. There will be 2,000, and it will be 2,000 lots of positive energy.

“What players enjoy is to play in front of fans. This is why they work and how they enjoy. Having no fans doesn’t make sense. I am so happy they are returning step by step.

“Hopefully when it is reviewed on the 16th, then we can go to Molineux in front of our own fans.”

Liverpool – likely to have former Wolves man Diogo Jota in the starting XI – may have Trent Alexander-Arnold back involved after a calf strain while youngster Caoimhin Kelleher is expected to start in goal.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News