Wolves boss Nuno wants his pack to show their strength

Nuno Espirito Santo has urged Wolves to finish strong in the Premier League after admitting they have fallen short of expectations this campaign.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has called for a strong finish to what has been a frustrating season for the men from Molineux (AMA)
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has called for a strong finish to what has been a frustrating season for the men from Molineux (AMA)

Nuno’s side have struggled for consistency all season long while having to deal with high-profile injuries, and they currently sit 14th in the table.

Tonight’s clash with Fulham, though, kicks off a run of five successive fixtures against teams below Wolves.

And Nuno has called on his charges to take advantage of the situation.

Assessing how 2020/21 has gone so far, he said: “It’s been hard.

“Those who follow us from really close know the idea was to try to grow, improve, change how we do things – and we tried.

“There was not even one moment where the players failed to commit themselves, but now we have realised what we wanted to do was not possible due to many circumstances, and not only the external situations like the pandemic and the short turnaround.

“We made mistakes, we didn’t perform as well as we can.

“So, when it’s not possible, it’s the moment to realise what went wrong, but we still have a chance.

“We still have a lot of things we can take advantage of this season and these games are basic to prepare our future.”

Nuno spoke early in the season about wanting to have more possession and control games more.

A 4-2-3-1 system – most recently in defeat to West Ham on Monday – has since been introduced, without great success.

Asked whether the Hammers defeat showed him the changes he wanted to make are not possible, Nuno said: “No, not only that. Many things I can share with you... we didn’t intend to make our young players grow inside the team in such a short period of time.

“We’ve always been able to find the right balance to get players integrated into the team, but that was not possible.

“In terms of the squad, we are not as balanced as we wanted.”

Nuno says achieving that balance is the key to success.

Fulham defender Joachim Andersen had urged tonight’s hosts – who have lost their last three matches – to be nasty against Wolves.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is back in good form for Fulham (AMA)

But when asked if he wants to see the same from his side, who are now five without a victory, Nuno said: “Before that, we must be balanced and with the right approach.

“Being aggressive is a resource you should use when you are unbalanced.

“If you can keep your balance in every moment of the game – with and without the ball – this nastiness is not so necessary.”

Nuno – in the wake of Jonny Castro Otto suffering another serious knee injury – has also stressed the importance of Wolves sticking together.

“One of the most important foundations we have is the relationship between us,” he said.

“We work together as a unit, face the problems as a unit, try to figure out and find solutions for our mistakes as a unit.

“Of course, when something bad happens to one of us, we suffer and almost feel like the player himself.

“But at the same time, I value our strong spirit. It’s our responsibility to give good answers as a team, and I’ve felt this during the season.

“Every time we’ve had a setback we felt it and reacted. This is what we’re looking for.

“The situation with Jonny is bad luck, we know, but we must react and keep on going.”

Nuno added: “We’re working hard, focused, knowing this will be a tough game.

“It requires total focus. This is how we operate.

“That’s the mood, totally committed to the task in front of us.”

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