Nuno will say his emotional goodbyes to Wolverhampton against Manchester United in tomorrow’s end-of-season affair, in front of 4,000 fans at Molineux, writes Lewis Cox.
The Portuguese head coach has allowed Wolves supporters of all generations to dream throughout his four-year reign. In doing so, the Wolf pack and their leader have created a unique bond.
And, speaking at his pre-match press conference yesterday before the sudden news was announced, Nuno, 47, implored that the connection between Wolves supporters and their team remain in place moving forwards.
“The hard work of everybody working from home, creating activities for the fans, in this season we cannot afford to lose the bond that was created between the fans and the club, the city,” Nuno said.
“This bond – we were away from each other but you could see the bond was still alive. We must sustain it to progress and keep going.
“All the staff have made an effort to stay connected with the fans but now the fans are back, after tomorrow and for the next season we want full stadiums, everybody there, that’s why I believe it’s going to be better than ever.”
“We are aware of the struggles many people are suffering, that’s why we are connected to our community through charity programmes. When it’s possible players will visit all the facilities again, to touch someone, to make a photo or a hug, this is what brings people together. Soon the players will engage fans again.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brings his United side to the Black Country with a finish of second in the Premier League guaranteed. The Red Devils have a Europa League final against Villarreal in Poland to take care of three days later.
But for Wolves and Nuno, who can finish no higher than 12th, the day is about about a celebration and farewell.
Nuno’s eyes lit up and he exuded happiness when addressing fans’ return tomorrow in yesterday’s conference.
Asked what he was most looking forward to about tomorrow, Nuno replied: “The fans. Fans. To see the fans at Molineux. To be with them. This is the most important thing. Molineux is going to have fans again. For sure it will be emotional, because of such a long absence without fans for us, our special fans not being able to see the team. It’s going to be emotional for everybody for sure.
“No doubt about it – it’s definitely going to be the highlight of the season, to have fans back.”
Nuno added: “It’s fantastic, fantastic, so, so good. It means everything, everything for us.
“It feels like the game is back again, even if it’s 5,000, 6,000 or 7,000, the voices and their presence, the atmosphere, it’s football.
“We’ll be together. Everybody together tomorrow. Raul (Jimenez) will be there, all the players there. It will be a special moment.”