Despite Wolves’ exemplary first season back in the top-flight in which his side have secured a seventh-place finish, Nuno Espirito Santo insists he does not use the Premier League table as a way of analysing his team.
The head coach, who has been nominated for the Premier League Barclays Manager of the Season for taking Wolves from the Championship to a possible Europa League spot in little over 12 months, believes his improving team should be measured on how they have competed against all the teams in the top-flight, not just their impressive record against the top six clubs.
On evaluating Wolves’ season
“We have not only had success against the top teams. We cannot be measured only by our games against the top teams.
“We measure ourselves by how we have been competing throughout the season. There have been good moments, bad moments, but we have always been competing.
“Every day is a learning process. Not only in sport but in life, you just have to read the signs and be aware of them.
“We have an improving squad and we cannot be measured by table. We will judge ourselves by how we did things, how we compete, how we play how we improve; but the improvement is natural and obvious. This is what we aim for, not the table.”
On finishing seventh
“It’s been a good year. We knew since last season what our ideas were, and we had to keep with them no matter what level we were going to be at.
“In the Premier League we kept them the same, and even though we had hard moments we bounced back and competed in a good way, against tough opponents, with our own ideas.
“Now we have to go to the end with the same ideas and the same standards.”
On Manager of the Season nomination
“I think all the managers, not only in the Premier League but around the world, deserve a prize. It’s a tough job.”
On the end of the Premier League season
“We never go away from game. The end of the season gives you a chance to rest, and for me it’s important to go home and stay with my family, but we never disconnect.
“There is always work to do and tasks to focus on.”
On off-season plans for his players
“It’s a natural time for you to rest, but it’s not a passive rest, it’s an active rest. The players will be involved in their own programmes, because the worst thing is that you totally lose your form, so you have to start again.
“Our idea is never to lose our form, so it will be an active rest. Everything is programmed, everything will be scheduled.
“During the first two weeks we know we’ll have a lot of players involved in their national teams, so we have to take each player individually. Each one of them will have their own programme and their own days to do these programmes.
“The idea is that when they come back they will be ready to start again.”