Nuno Espírito Santo is well aware of what is at stake in his first Midlands derby against Aston Villa – but wants his team to control their emotions and play their normal game.
It is an approach which has paid dividends so far this season with Wolves second in the Sky Bet Championship table and the chance to go top with three points in tonight’s game (5.30pm).
Hence why Nuno is keen on Wolves concentrating on their own qualities as they welcome an equally in-form Villa side in front of a capacity crowd.
“This is another game for us and fortunately it is at Molineux where we feel good and where we want to be,” said Nuno.
“We know how much a derby game means to fans and that it is a special game for everybody.
“It will be a full crowd at Molineux with our pack behind us, singing for us and we have to fight to the last minute.
“At the same time we have to control our emotions.
“It is a derby game but we don’t need to run any more because we are already running a lot.
“It is about control, focusing on our tasks and doing our jobs.
“Knowing that every moment in the game is important and if you make a mistake you have to recover from it very quickly.
“There has been nothing different in the preparation and our routines – it is always the same every game and that is important.
“We are not looking at the league table – the most important thing is the game.”
Nuno expects a very stern test against a Villa side which is upwardly mobile having won their last four games in succession.
“They are an experienced squad with an experienced coach and are a good team on a good run,” said the Head Coach.
“We will look at the strength and abilities of our opponents and also where we can harm them and what we have to be aware of.
“It is about us – putting our ideas on the pitch and trying to be stronger than they are.
“The game is about the players and how they perform and our job is to make sure our players perform better.
“Our objective has to be to fight really hard knowing it is a very tough team in front of us.
“We have to demonstrate that we want to be a strong squad and a team that is able to perform consistently through the season.”
Wolves fans have – as all the way this season – got right behind the team for today’s game with a capacity crowd expected.
Nuno remains appreciative of the backing the team are receiving, week-in week-out.
“What can I ask more to our fans that they are not already giving to us?” he asks.
“They always support us, home and away.
“We always have our fans behind the team and we have to be thankful for that.
“I will say to the team again to fight for our fans, we realise what it means to the fans.
“We have to fight like we do every game and we have to play football.
“It will be a full crowd and a supporting crowd that supports the team for 90 minutes - that is what we can ask of them.”
Meanwhile Nuno himself admits he will feel a few nerves ahead of such a big derby game – but that is normal!
“I am nervous every game but always focused,” he says.
“We have a young squad which must control their emotions.
“But we are all going to enjoy it – and we are ready to play.”