Nuno is backing ‘talented’ Wolves striker Willian Jose

Nuno Espirito Santo has hailed the work ethic of goalless striker Willian Jose and says Wolves must ‘recognise his movement better’.

Willian Jose of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United. (AMA)
Willian Jose of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United. (AMA)

An ineffective display from the Brazilian in Saturday night’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle saw his barren run in gold and black stretch to seven matches.

But Nuno insists the Real Sociedad loanee, who Wolves have the option to buy for £22million in the summer, is ‘helping a lot’ in a team that has struggled for goals on the whole throughout 2020/21 – netting 27 in 26 Premier League games.

“He’s doing well. He’s helping the team,” said Nuno on Jose’s work since being snapped up in January.

“He’s helping a lot. He is a hard-worker.

“The moment he recognises, and the team recognises his movement better, he can give us very good things.

“There is hard work. A very talented player.”

While Jose failed to significantly trouble Newcastle’s defence, Ruben Neves surged forward from midfield and came up with a fine header – his first for Wolves – to cancel out Jamaal Lascelles’ opener and grab a point on Tyneside.

That was the Portuguese midfielder’s fifth goal in 2021, with three of those coming from the penalty spot.

On if he was pleased to see Neves uncharacteristically head home against the Magpies, Nuno said: “Yes, and the game required occupation in the box from the midfielders.

“We were able to create a lot of situations, one against one, on the wide areas with Pedro (Neto) and Adama (Traore).

“So, with only Willian, another body in the box was needed.

“It was a good run and a good header. Hopefully, Ruben is able to repeat it and give this help to the team.

“He worked very hard. That’s not his main task, but the action was good.”

The draw with Steve Bruce’s side – the fifth successive 1-1 against them – made it five unbeaten in the Premier League for Wolves.

That is their longest stretch of games without a defeat this season and Nuno believes they are heading in the right direction, although they face a difficult test at league leaders Manchester City tomorrow night.

“I always believe that there is a space to improve. The expectations are always very high,” added Nuno.

“We demand a lot from each other, and we have a lot of details that we should improve.

“But the reaction and the approach, game after game, pleases me.

“It gives me belief that we should improve in our game – we are on our way and working hard for it.”

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News