Wolves will head to the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening with no fear of facing Manchester City, Nuno Espirito Santo has said.
The head coach, who has had a full seven days to work with his players between matches for the first time since October, believes his Wolves team will have ‘total belief’ in their ability when they face last season’s Premier League champions, while praising the achievements of his City counterpart Pep Guardiola.
On facing City
“I admire the talent they have. As a team, as a squad, as individuals; the team is full of talent, they are one of the best teams in the world.
“It’s the challenge – a big team, a fantastic team – so let’s go and compete with the things that you have, realising that you have to be very organised, very compact – all these aspects in our defensive organisation that we have to maintain if we can improve.
“We will prepare for what we’re going to face on Monday. We’re going to prepare ourselves, try to give all the possibilities that we think are relevant for our game and for our players.
“One of those will ‘not be afraid’, we don’t go onto the pitch scared of anything, we know that we have to compete.
“You cannot be scared or frightened of nothing, you just have to be ready for what you have in front of you.”
On belief in his players
“We have total belief. It would be a mistake to fear, but belief does not mean you don’t respect. We respect a lot, all of our opponents, all of them.
“We don’t fear them because we believe that if we prepare ourselves very well, we are able to compete, the result is another thing, but it’s how our mentality is, how we prepare ourselves, and we prepare with no fear.
“We prepare ourselves with motivation, we prepare ourselves with the illusion that we can, that we have to fight and try in every game.”
On Pep Guardiola
“He’s already achieved so many things, but I think his idea of the game is amazing and really admirable.
“I think we, as managers, must develop our ideas. When someone brings something new to the game, we can help develop the game. I think Pep is in that small circle of people.
“Each manager has his own idea and we respect each other very much, but if we can see there are things we can take advantage of, then we will do so.
“But however far back your memory goes, he’s one of the best, no doubt about it.”
On week between games
“It’s important that we are having a full cycle of training sessions because we can take advantage to become better. After such a tight schedule, a clean week of work is good for us.
“More than prepare the game, we have to prepare ourselves for what is in front of us. The first challenge is City, then we’ll have another one.”