Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves’ defeat to Huddersfield Town in November was not the only reason for why he changed the shape of his side to introduce a third player into midfield.
As his side travel to the John Smith’s Stadium to take on The Terriers this evening, the head coach said his decision to alter his shape was all about developing as a Premier League team.
With Wolves now reaching 40 points for the season, Nuno also refuted suggestions that his side will now ‘take their foot off the gas’ with league survival all but guaranteed.
On changing formation
“The change was not clearly based on that game, but it was one of the things that we thought the team needed. It didn’t change our idea about how we wanted the team to perform or what we wanted to team to do.
“Nothing is going to stay forever. What we try to do is to grow the team, focus on how we want to play, how we want to develop as a team.
“Some of games which we achieved result were from making subs which changed the shape of the team. It’s the team that is competitive, that has to improve constantly on defensive organisation, and we look for a solution in attack to unbalance the other teams.
“It doesn’t have to do with an extra man [in midfield] or not, it’s about your attitude through the game.”
On impact of substitutes
“It’s our idea that when we make a change is to always bring new solutions. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but what you have to be is prepared.
“Not all the games are the same, not all games require the same approach, we have to be versatile enough to understand it and be ready to change.
“The late goals show belief, show physical capacity, show character, it shows a lot of things. It shows that the players who are eventually on the bench, they are switched on to immediately make an impact in the game and that’s the work that needs to be done.”
On reaching 40 points in February
“I didn’t expect it [to reach 40 points] because I don’t look at it. The table doesn’t mean anything. I didn’t expect to make X or Y points; it doesn’t matter, it’s not what we think.
“But the credit is for the players, because the way that they’ve been working since we started made us believe we still have things to improve.
“My happiness and my joy is the way the players work. This is what pleases me the most; the way that the players commit themselves, every hour of the days. It pleases me more when my team go out onto the pitch, realising that there’s nothing more to give and they have given everything.”
On the team’s limit
“What I know, and this is what I tell the players, is that we have a very good chance to become a better team, a more competitive team and a more organised team.
“There is no limit. But you never know, because at the same time there is no perfection. There’s always space to improve, I think individual improvements improves the team, and the club will become better.
“Every time a Wolves player puts his shirt on he has an obligation, and this obligation doesn’t go much further than giving everything that you have.
“The best of each one of us will make a good team.”