Last four games to impress, says Wolves boss Nuno

Boss Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves’ final four games of the season are an ‘opportunity for everybody’ in his squad to impress.

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo (PA)
Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo (PA)

Nuno is gearing his side up for the visit of Brighton tomorrow, having overseen a 1-1 draw with fierce rivals Albion last time out.

A crop of youngsters – Fabio Silva, Vitinha, Owen Otasowie and Rayan Ait-Nouri – particularly impressed in the Black Country derby and supporters are hoping to see them feature more prominently in the final few weeks.

But Nuno says the onus is on all the group, not just the younger players, to catch the eye.

“It’s an opportunity for everybody. As a squad, we have four games to go,” he said.

“And those games should be very useful for us, in terms of how we compete and approach the games.

“It’s opportunity for everybody, so we have to decide the team.

“All the players in the squad, those that are available, show every day in the training sessions they can be options for the games.”

Looking to prove points in particular are Vitinha, Ait-Nouri and – although he was left on the bench at The Hawthorns – Willian Jose.

All three are on loan but Wolves have buy options for each of those players going into the summer.

And Nuno claims that no firm decisions have been made over the trio yet.

“We have to decide on the players we have on loan,” he said.

“It’s not the moment yet. We have specific dates to do so and we’ll approach these situations in the right moments.

“We have dates to make decisions, but not yet.”

Wolves are looking to pick up their first win against the Seagulls at Molineux since 2006 and on the team news front, they will be without Willy Boly again.

Boly, who was left out at Albion, is getting better after suffering with long Covid and having heart palpitations.

This game, though, comes to soon for the centre-half and the hope is to get him back ready for the trip to Tottenham.

Veteran midfielder Joao Moutinho, though, having missed the last two matches with an ankle problem, is ready to play a part against Graham Potter’s side.

Nuno’s lot are aiming to make up for a 3-3 draw at the Amex earlier this campaign when they led 3-1 at half-time but capitulated in the second period.

Reflecting on that game and how he feels things will play out this time around, the Portuguese said: “It was a tough game.

“We did a very good first half but started really bad in the second half and lost control from there.

“But it will be a different game this time, against a tough, tough opponent.

“Brighton are a good team. They have a good squad and play good, so we expect a very tough match – but totally different from the first game we had.”

Pleased with the attitude he saw against Albion, Nuno wants the same fight and effort against Brighton – mixed in with more ruthlessness in the final third.

“That’s the part that’s not negotiable,” said Nuno.

“Attitude and the willingness to fight to the limit of your strengths, that must stick with us.

“I truly believe that the Burnley game was a one-off. So, I hope it doesn’t happen again.

“We improved in the West Brom game after Burnley, so I expect different improvements against Brighton.”

He added: “We still want to improve a lot of aspects of the game.

“We controlled the possession of the ball really well (at The Hawthorns), but we were not able – when we broke past the defence – to really finish the action.

“So, that’s an aspect we should improve on. We’ve had offensive set-pieces where we’ve had the first contact but did not produce situations of danger.

“That’s something we have to improve as well.

“So, there’s a lot of aspects around the game we have to improve, and the next game is always the best chance to do it.”

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