Manging Director talks about the arrival of Nuno
Wolves Managing Director Laurie Dalrymple spoke to Wolves Player HD following the appointment of Nuno Espírito Santo as the new Head Coach.
Here are the written quotes from the interview.
(On the press conference)
I think it went really well and I thought Nuno spoke very well. I thought he put his points across very well in terms of what he’s seen so far, in terms of the people within the club, the ambition of the club and the ambition of the project that we’re doing here. We spent most of Wednesday down at Compton - he’s incredibly impressed with the facilities we've got here as a football club. He knows now that it’s just about getting the team right and developing that bit and going on from there.
Jeff’s (Shi) known Nuno for two years now – that was the first time he met him and there’s a really short shortlist of candidates that the owners and Jeff wanted to pursue in terms of taking the team forward. He was the guy that they wanted to talk to and he was the guy they've managed to get.
If you look at his CV, his pedigree off where he’s coached in the past - he’s coached in really intense environments in La Liga, the Portuguese Premier League, and the expectation is on delivering success within those environments is intense. He has coached and delivered at Champions League level - he took Porto to the last 16 knockout stage, going out against Juventus who are now in the final. Bringing that into a competitive environment like the Championship….I think it’s a good statement from us.
(On departing staff)
This week, we’ve said goodbye to some people that have been through a lot with this football club - good times and bad. Some of the guys have been here for nearly ten seasons - we say goodbye with a bit of a heavy heart and genuinely thank them for their huge commitment to the football club and wish them every success in the future. I suppose it’s a natural process for a lot of coaches who have worked with their own technical and support teams, that they want to bring them in with the. Over the last two appointments that we’ve made, we were less flexible around that. On this occasion, we felt we needed to give them the flexibility to bring in a team that can refresh, that can approach things in a different way and shake things up a bit, and hopefully give us that renewed impetus within the playing group.
I continue to be confident - it’s been a stressful process inside as well as from outside but I’m very confident that we’ve got the process right now to go forward positively. I haven't got a crystal ball so I can’t sit here and say ‘this is it’, but I think the team that we’ve got in place now on and off the field is one that can take the team forward and deliver positive results. I’ve spent quite a lot of time with them, I’m really impressed with them an now it’s about getting everything right in that pre-season process in terms of football and planning and preparation. We’re doing a huge amount of work off the field to give them that level of support, to give the fans that environment to be happy and hopefully celebratory as well. I’m really confident that we can hopefully deliver success this season.
(On Jorge Mendes)
I really want to allay fears because we’ve been clear in the past and Jeff Shi’s been clear in the past that Jorge (Mendes) is someone who is known to the club and he's known to the owners - he's been a friend and a connection to Fosun for some time. Our recruitment process and strategy stretches far wider than one agency. We’ve got a very established recruitment team within our own club, headed by Kevin Thelwell - we’ve got a number of agents and intermediaries and processes that we tap into around the world and Europe and domestic leagues. It’s not just about one person. Is Jorge Mendes someone that the owners go to for an opinion or advice? Yes he is. Is that something that will continue? Yes, I guess it would do. Is his agency one that we would take players from in the future as we have done in the past? Yes, and in that respect we’re no different to another football club. We want to get the best players into the team that will take this team forward, whether it’s from Jorge’s company, another intermediary’s company - that’s the bottom line. I think if anything demonstrates that, we signed Ryan Bennett on Wednesday, who is nothing to do with Jorge Mendes.
It’s all about what we believe in terms of the right calibre of player, the right temperament, the right personality, the right technical ability. Within the decision-making process of that, we’ve got the management team here at Wolves which is Kevin, Nuno and myself - and then the owners who have got ultimately the final say in whatever we do.
(Season Ticket renewal/refund deadline extended)
I thought it was important to extend the early bird scheme. The last few weeks has been a bit stressful for a lot of people - we’re not oblivious to the fan feedback, we’re not oblivious to the general mood within the camp. I thought the least we could do was to give that extension to people that says ‘we haven't been creating this anxiety or nervousness for the sake of it’.
I know it’s been difficult for us to communicate certain issues over the last few weeks but we have clarity now on our coaching structure and we’re beginning to re-clarify our recruitment strategy because it has been harder over the last few weeks even though we know where we want to go with it. And we should now be in a position to continue through the summer and the pre-season. The least we could do was give some comfort to fans around whether they did want to come back and still give them that flexibility that if we do get to where we want to be – and I’m genuinely hopeful that we can get there - we will gladly reward the fans that have shown that commitment.
It’s certainly not going to be a quiet summer. Whether it’s quite to the degree of last year, I don't think so. I think it’s as much about quality as it is quantity from my perspective and hopefully getting things done as quickly as we can. We’ve announced a really strong, competitive, structured pre-season trip to Austria - we want to be taking a group out there that we think is the one that we want to be taking through the season. As quickly as we can get to that point, the better, and if we get that bit right then we've got a good chance of competing and that’s what we want to do for as long and as consistently as we can next season.