Nuno Espirito Santo described leading Wolves in Europe as special under the Molineux lights.
Wolves returned to Europe after 39 years away on Thursday night and did it in style, with a 2-0 victory over Crusaders FC. In what was an early start to competitive action, Nuno was happy with what he saw from his players, who have breathing space in the tie after Ruben Vinagre’s late goal, leaving the head coach feeling positive at half-time in the second qualifying round.
On being back in Europe
“What’s really special is to be back at Molineux. It’s amazing, it’s fantastic. When it’s in a European competition for the first time in 40 years, it’s even more special. I’m really proud to be part of this group.
“It was a special night for Molineux, the atmosphere was good, we are back in Europe and we want to improve.”
On the crucial second goal
“It makes a difference, no doubt about it, for the second leg. We have to look at the game and see what moment we’re at. Are we doing things we want to do?
“We controlled the levels of anxiety because it’s tough, especially at this moment of the season, we want to go fast and solve the problems, but it’s difficult because they were organised, so it required a lot of effort.”
On first competitive match
“It’s tough. The season’s started early, the players came back on different dates, we have to started the competition immediately. We showed that we are ready, but not as fast, sharp and accurate as we should be.
“It became a tough game against a team that was organised, always fighting for the ball, to prevent our goals. It’s always going to be tough, we had to stay focused and play our game.”
On facing organised opposition
“It requires solutions, you can’t be frustrated, action after action. Going wide, one versus one, going inside, set pieces, we must improve. We touched the ball but didn’t have chances. We must work.
“It was tough but they did a fantastic job. It was hot, there were no spaces, and the idea of the game was there I'm so proud of that. That’s how we play, sometimes you score more, sometimes you don’t.
“It was tough because they were well organised. Really deep, no spaces, but we have to be faster, more accurate, sharper, all the things, and with hard work it will come.”
On Neves’ knock
“He’s struggling. He took a knock, he’s in pain now, so we’ll take care of him.”