With Romain Saiss, Conor Coady and Matt Doherty signing new deals to secure their future at Molineux in the past week, Nuno Espirito Santo has shared his thoughts on three of the club’s longest-serving players.
Versatile midfielder Saiss has put pen to paper on a new contract which will keep him at Wolves until 2021, while flying wing-back Doherty and captain Coady are now set to remain with the club until 2023.
During his pre-match press conference, Nuno also responded to Mick McCarthy’s recent comments about Doherty being the best player in his position in the Premier League.
On contract renewals
“When the player is happy where he is, and he wants to stay and progress in the same place, I think it’s better for the club and it’s better for the team.
“This is the case of these players, but the moment you sign your contract you put it inside your drawer and you don’t think about it. Forget about it and focus on your only task.
“Romain, Conor and Matt are players who were here before [I arrived at Wolves], players that have many years in the club, and we believe that the core of the squad and keeping the same players will improve us.
“If you look at history, the biggest teams are made around the same people, because complicity, friendship and bonds help the team.”
On Saiss’ versatility
“Romain brings quality, experience, he’s a competitive player, he is versatile enough to play more than one position on the pitch, so I’m happy with him.”
On Coady’s influence as captain
“Since last season he brings, on a daily basis, everything that you want on a football player. He’s committed, he always trying to improve himself and he has characteristics which make him a natural leader. Everybody can hear his voice, so he’s a big help for the team.
“It was something that he developed, through time. I think he’s better now than he was 18 months ago, and I still believe that he can improve, there’s still a lot of things that he can improve.
“He does things very well, but he knows there are aspects in his game, and within the team, that he must develop and he’s willing to do it. That’s the best part; that every player is committed to improve. This is the growing that we expect.
“The biggest thing that he does it that he’s a refence for his teammates. Lead by example is the best thing that he has – he leads by example.”
On wanting Doherty to improve
“Mick [McCarthy] was the one that brought Matt in to Wolves, so credit to Mick on choosing what I think is a very good player, but the rest is about Matt. The way he prepares himself, the credit is for him.
“He has become a very good player, but he still has to improve a lot. I try to improve him but it’s not the way I look at him which makes him run.
“He runs because he believes that he can arrive, and he goes up and down. But he has to keep doing it; don’t change.”