Nuno Espirito Santo was delighted his team made special memories for their supporters after a place in the Europa League group stages was confirmed on Thursday.
Wolves beat Torino 2-1 at Molineux, completing 5-3 aggregate victory, to secure the club’s first place in the Europa League proper since 1981, meaning another six European ties lie ahead. The next three opponents will be revealed in Friday’s draw and Nuno says the supporters should savour the club’s latest success story in qualifying for a major European competition.
On reaching the group stages
“It’s fantastic. Work that started two years ago in the Championship, building and building. What the boys did is fantastic, a small squad, but they worked. The staff too, that’s why they went to the pitch because they deserve a lot of credit. They were so important for us, the guys behind-the-scenes, massive.
“It’s so hard, travelling to play different teams. We played on an artificial pitch, it was tough against Crusaders, then Pyunik was tough. Here at Molineux was fantastic, it’s been a long time where we’ve performed so good at home.
“The way they (the supporters) push us, they are the 12th man on the pitch. They’re so important, congratulations to them, we’re going to see big games and we want to play.”
On the Europa League journey ahead
“We want to compete. I don’t know who we’re going to face yet. We want to play. Sunday we have another game, tomorrow after training we’ll sit down and watch the draw. That will be a pleasure for all Wolves fans.
“For me and the boys, in the afternoon we’ll prepare for the next game. Game by game always. Improve during the competition, this is what we want, use the game as a tool for us to grow as a team.”
On his players’ commitment
“The boys have been amazing. Coady played all the minutes, Boly played all the minutes, it’s fantastic. You see on the pitch, the reaction is fantastic, the people that come in give everything they have.
“The boys tried to adapt with the shape and circumstances, dealing with the physicality, air balls, set pieces. Options that we have to choose from for the next game, based on how we want to play the next game and then we choose who is going to do it.”
On Traore’s impact
“It was important. The way he took the team up, the way he created, the way he unbalanced the opponents. He can do this and he can do other things, he has to improve a lot, but today he was stable in defence, covered the centre back, won balls in the area. We’re building a player and taking the best out of him.”
On Torino’s challenge
“It was very tough. They started well the game, the way they press and controlled the game in the midfield, it was very difficult. I think we were lucky that we got ahead of the score, we didn’t have too many chances, only counter attacks, but we defended well.
“In the second-half we had to work very hard to control Torino. It was amazing for us to compete against Torino, I wish them all the best for the future, very good team, manager, fans, it was fantastic.”