Cole: Wolves are a 'credit to Nuno'

Joe Cole has been impressed with the way Wolves have balanced Premier League and European football this season after Nuno Espirito Santo’s men reacquainted themselves among the continent’s elite after almost 40 years away.

The former England midfielder, who also lavished praise on the impact Raul Jimenez has had on the current Wolves side, was part of the BT Sport team covering the clash with Liverpool at Molineux last month, and spoke in glowing terms of the work Nuno and his staff have done to balance European and domestic football with such a small squad of players.

On Wolves’ small squad

“I think it’s a credit to Nuno and his staff because he likes to work with a small knit group, but what Wolves have done is adjust to European football very well.

“We’ve seen teams traditionally, like Burnley, when they got in Europe, it really knocked them from their stride, but what we’ve seen with Wolves is that they like to play football and keep the ball, and the players that they have and the quality that they have, they are used to European football and, although they had a little blip, they adjusted quickly.

“I like working with a smaller group because it keeps it tight in there, and these lads have been together now for two or three years, so there’s a good camaraderie among the group.

“They’ll be thinking there’s a chance that we can get this team in the Champions League, and what an achievement that would be for Wolves.”

On Jimenez's talent

“He’s a top player and he kind of reminds me of an old-fashioned striker in the way he holds the ball up and flicks it, but then he’ll also pop out over to the wings.

“Wolves fans won’t thank me for saying this, but if I’m Chelsea, Tottenham or Man United and I have a cheque book ready to go, he’s the first name.

“If you want someone who’s going to make an instant impact in your team, if you want somebody who ticks all the boxes; he knows the league, he knows the flow of English football.

“It’s all well and good being part of a project, but when Man United, Tottenham or Chelsea come for you, it might easily turn your head.

“But for me, he could quite easily play in any one of those teams because he’s got so much ability and he’s one of my favourite players to watch.”