Nuno Espirito Santo has admitted he couldn’t contain himself when Ryan Bennett scored the last-minute winner in the encounter with Bristol City last season, ahead of Wolves’ return to Ashton Gate tomorrow lunchtime.
The stadium was the scene of one of the most breath-taking matches in Wolves’ Championship winning season, and the FA Cup has brought the two sides back together for a highly-anticipated fifth round tie.
Last time out, Nuno had to watch the come-from-behind win over the Robins from the stands and got into a bit of hot water in the Bristol City directors’ box due to his exuberant celebrations after Bennett sealed the three points.
On last season’s match
“The game was so emotional and particularly hard for me. I was sent off and went to the stand, and being there, you cannot really help the team.
“What I felt was a big joy, a tremendous moment of happiness when ‘Benno’ scored and Barry put the perfect ball on the second post. It was so important for us in that moment that I could not contain myself.
“I try to follow my instincts and sometimes I know I make mistakes, but at the same time I apologise when I have to and try to avoid them in the future.
“I love football and I love my team.”
On celebration at Ashton Gate
“I apologised already. If I have to say it again I’ll say it – I’m sorry. But it was not my intention to be disrespectful to anyone, I just felt so much joy and happiness because it meant a lot for us last season.
“If you remember the moment that we went there, Bristol was in second position, and you know how tough the Championship was, every game you win you must celebrate.
“I don’t see a difference – and I don’t want to be disrespectful – between the behaviour that you have to have in England and other places. You always have to be respectful, no matter where you work.
“But there are traditions and culturally the managers spend time together after the game, in other countries in Europe they don’t shake hands after the game, but that doesn’t mean that you are disrespectful; that’s what I meant when I said I was learning.”
On Bristol City challenge
“We have to be switched on and very focused. Not only of the matches that we played against them last season, but also how Bristol put big teams away in the cup.
“It will be a very tough game, an incredible game, and we will have to really compete well and play good. We must prepare very well. We still have a day ahead of us but I’m confident that we will be ready to compete.
“Competing is the most important thing; are you ready to compete and prepare yourself for the competition. Then the game tells you what’s going to happen.
“It will be a typical atmosphere, a very tough game of football. Bristol fans supporting their team, our fans – and I appreciate we’re going to have large numbers there – supporting us. Both teams will have their support and the players must be involved and switched on and do a good game.”
On chance to win silverware
“We cannot look further ahead – it doesn’t make sense. We are able to go to compete in Bristol because we did a fantastic job against Liverpool, we did a very tough job, but we did the job, against Shrewsbury, so we go on Sunday and after that we will see.”
On Jota’s fitness
“Diogo had a problem against Everton, a big impact, a dead leg, so he’s been struggling since then. The previous week we took care of him and went to Marbella and he didn’t get involved then, but he trained enough to be ready to compete like he did in the last game.
“This week he again had a knock in the same place, so he didn’t train, but we have one more session to go tomorrow and we will consider him after that.”