Nuno delighted with Wolves' fighting spirit after 'very physical' Black Country derby

Nuno Espirito Santo has hailed Wolves' fighting spirit after picking up a point from a 'very physical game' at Albion.

Nuno Espirito Santo the head coach / manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers looks on (AMA)
Nuno Espirito Santo the head coach / manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers looks on (AMA)

Amid a huge downpour at The Hawthorns, Nuno's side dusted themselves down after the Burnley horror show and avoided a second Black Country derby defeat of the season.

Fabio Silva's fortunate opener was cancelled out by Mbaye Diagne's header and while disappointed with the Baggies' leveller, the Portuguese was pleased with the application from his players.

"It was difficult conditions and a difficult opponent," said Nuno.

"I think we started the game really well, with possession and control. We were dominant.

"It was a very physical game in tough circumstances, so the boys did what they should do. They fought, won duels. They were there."

The sheer amount of rain hampered the game in the closing stages but Wolves had their bright moments.

Silva's goal just before the interval – although the ball cannoned off his standing leg and looped over Sam Johnstone – came after an intricate passage of play.

They later conceded in typical fashion, though, with unmarked target man Diagne allowed to nod in from close range.

"Like always, I think we should improve on certain aspects. Defensively, at the beginning of the second half, we had issues," said Nuno

"The long balls of West Brom made us run back and chase the ball, so it becomes harder.

"We also had chances to do better, but we have to look ahead and improve.

"We improved from the last game. The physical part of the game requires good attitude – and the boys did it against a very tough, physical opponent who caused us many problems.

"We still have to look forward and move forward with this. We need to improve that aspect from our players."

Nuno was without defender Willy Boly for the clash as the Ivorian is suffering from long Covid.

With Joao Moutinho remaining out alongside long-term absentees Raul Jimenez, Pedro Neto, Jonny Castro Otto and Fernando Marcal as well, the Wolves chief turned to youth with Silva, Vitinha and Owen Otasowie all starting.

Explaining Boly's situation further, Nuno added "He's in a tough moment. He was infected and this week, he was was not able to train.

"His heart rate increases very fast, so he is doing exams and analysis now.

"It's a study case that everybody has to realise. After Covid, it's not the first week, it's a longer period of time which affects players. We must be aware of that.

"He's at home and his energy is not there. He feels tired. He's not able to sustain the level of training we want, so he was unavailable."

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