Nuno Espirito Santo is loving life as Wolves boss.
The 45-year-old has transformed the club since he took on the reins just under two years ago, leading the side into the Premier League at the first attempt, to becoming the ‘best of the rest’ outside the top-flight’s ‘big six’, and seeing his players fire the club into their first FA Cup semi-final in more than 20 years.
But what makes Nuno ‘the special one’ and how much of an impact have the Wolves supporters played in the club’s recent rise? Here, the former Portugal goalkeeper explains.
On being Wolves manager
“I’m happy, I enjoy coming here and the players enjoy it also. It’s about making a journey together. With our fans, with the support of the club, of all the people that are involved; not only players, but staff, coaches, everybody, everybody inside the family of Wolves, joining us together to try and achieve what the club achieved in the 50’s and the 60’s.
“We know how hard it is, but to have these memories, they can help us. We are proud of what we’ve achieved.
“Last season was very tough, we came from the Championship, we started in the Premier League and we have to go, but we truly believe there’s a lot of space for improvement.
“We still have to make ourselves better and now we have a chance to be a better team because we did things well before.”
On his pride in the wolf pack
“I’m very, very proud. I always say, and I truly believe, that our job is to make our fans happy, every time they go out of the stadium – proud of being a Wolves fan, and that brings us a lot of joy.
“The fans make the effort to go away from home to support us, we have to be thankful for them because they help us, they truly help us when they push the team with their songs and their belief. It’s about being thankful for them and enjoy the moment together.
“As a manager there’s no sacrifice, when you enjoy what you’re doing there’s no sacrifice. It’s hard, of course, and takes a lot of dedication, but I enjoy it a lot.
“But it’s not only me it’s all the technical staff and I truly believe that our job is to make the players better, to make them grow and to improve them every day.
“As long as the player is able to believe in that and truly dedicate himself to that, I think it’s easier for us to make them better and prepare them well for the competition.”
On improving his Wolves players
“When we perform well together, it’s easier. But we still have a long way to go, a long space for improvement, a long space for working and progressing and the more important aspect of the game is that you prepare well for the competition. After – if you are well prepared – you go strong to the pitch.
“We must work together with the same goals. Prepare all the team well and develop our ideas, keep on growing.
“All the training sessions are important, everything has to make sense, everything has to have an idea behind it, it’s a lot of hours thinking and trying to put things together to improve the team.”
On his managerial style
“Each manager has his own ideas and his own way of working, our way of working is that we are 100 percent of our time in the pitch when we have to do, when we have to do meetings, all the things. I don’t consider anything different.
“My view is that we have to be close to the players, give them the right indications, the right moments, and make the time that we are working useful time, useful time.
“During the day we know it’s going to be a couple of hours so if we have to put everything that you have into those couple of hours, the next day you’ll be better.
“Each and every member of the coaching staff has his own qualities, his own background, totally different from each others, and it’s about putting these things together to one only view – that is the team.”