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Players Know The Score!

Wolves Head Coach Nuno Espiríto Santo says his players are well aware of the significance of local derbies as they prepare for their second Midlands showdown of the season at Birmingham City on Monday (7.45pm).

Wolves, who overcame Aston Villa in the first big derby of the season at Molineux in October, now boast a squad with many different nationalities but more than well versed in the need to battle for local pride.

Wolves have won their last five games in the Sky Bet Championship, and know what lies ahead if they are to maintain that momentum in the St Andrew’s cauldron.

“Of course the players understand,” says Nuno.

“They go to the supermarket, they go to the grocery (store), and the people that work there say ‘come on, Wolves ay we’.

“For me, I have been involved in many derbies, in different countries and regions. 

“Monday is special and you have to deal with your emotions. 

“It’s a derby, we cannot forget that – derbies are different. We look at Birmingham as a good team – a tough team. 

“It is a derby and we have to deal, and the best way to deal is to take care of your emotions. 

“Taking care of your emotions during the game is the most important – dealing with our emotions but never stop playing, always going for the win.” 

Wolves will be without the suspended Ruben Neves, and there is still a wait for summer signing Phil Ofosu-Ayeh to make his Molineux bow.

“The programme that is being done with Phil is trying to increase his load of running,” Nuno explained.

“But he still has pain. 

“We have to be very cautious, not only because of this particular injury, but the way that Phil – for the last year – has struggled. 

“He needs to settle down and solve, definitely, the problems that he has.”

Nuno meanwhile confirmed at his pre-match press conference yesterday that he had accepted the FA charge for improper conduct following the incident which saw him sent from the touchline against Bolton last weekend.