Nuno knows what is needed from Wolves at West Brom

Nuno Espirito Santo is clear on what Wolves must avoid against Albion having watched the Burnley horror show back ‘over and over again’.

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

Nuno’s side enter tonight’s encounter at The Hawthorns not only aiming to make up for what happened against the Baggies at Molineux earlier this campaign – losing 3-2 – but also put in a far superior performance than they managed against the Clarets last time out.

A 4-0 hammering at the hands of Sean Dyche’s side saw a difficult campaign reach a new low, and Wolves will be hoping the only way is up.

“If you want to be involved in sport, you have to be prepared for all the circumstances. Not everything is good moments,” said Nuno, on the reflection they have done after the Burnley loss.

“When the game goes well, I don’t know how many times I see the games.

“When the game doesn’t go so well, I can assure you that I go and see it over and over again, many, many times, to really try to find where and why it happened so we can rectify it. I’ve seen it more times than I usually do.

“The next game is always a long way away when things don’t go so well.

“With more days you want to compete and rectify the way you did things, but we take it as normal.

“We planned the week and worked well during the week so with more time there is better preparation, so let’s see.”

Wolves, make no mistake, must ramp up the intensity against Sam Allardyce’s charges.

They were outrun by 6km against the Clarets but Nuno has again refused to question the commitment of his players.

He instead feels the after-effects of Covid-19 were at play.

“It was not an issue of commitment, I’m totally sure about that. It had to do with energy,” said Nuno.

“We have had several players who have been in isolation and immediately we have been using these players due to the circumstances of the squad, because the player during that period doesn’t show any kind of symptoms.

“But we’ve been affected by players losing and decreasing a lot of their performances a few weeks after the moment of the infection of the virus.

“Especially in the game of Burnley, we felt that.

“Some of our players were without energy, they were not able to do the actions they wanted to do because they were not physically capable of doing that.

“But why didn’t we see that before the game? Why did this lack of energy only show after one week?

“It’s something that everybody is going to take a look at and really see that after a player has been infected, the 10 days is not the issue.

“The issue is what is coming after the virus – this complete absence of energy.

“I can only put that down to the virus, nothing to do with the commitment because ever since my players arrived, they have been nothing short of extraordinary.”

Going into this huge clash, Nuno insists he has ‘many problems’ on the injury front.

However, he has not gone into specifics because that would give a ‘clear’ advantage to Albion.

One thing the Portuguese has opened up on is how three of his players – Adama Traore, Romain Saiss and Rayan Ait-Nouri – are currently observing Ramadan.

“It’s been hard and it’s tough on them. It’s something we respect and try to support,” explained Nuno.

“When you go to the hotel we have our dinner and they wait for the right moment, when the sun goes down, to have their dinner. It’s the only moment they are allowed to eat.

“We have to support them. We are in permanent dialogue with the nutritionist, medical department and with them.

“It’s not the first time in their careers but experienced players like Saiss deal with it much better than Rayan for example.

“Rayan, last season, played half of the games he is playing now and I don’t know how hard the French league was compared to the Premier League, so it has been demanding on him.

“Adama also, but they are being supported and dealing with it.”

While stressing it is tough for those players, though, Nuno insists they will all be involved this evening given Wolves’ absences.

Raul Jimenez, Pedro Neto and Jonny Castro Otto are out. Joao Moutinho and Fernando Marcal are doubts, too.

“When we feel we should be making the decision which tells us they shouldn’t play, we’ll take it,” added Nuno.

“But just look at the circumstances we are in now, we cannot allow ourselves to leave these three players out because we are short on numbers.”

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