Mixed feelings of both joy and sadness greeted Nuno Espirito Santo at the final whistle of Wolves’ Carabao Cup victory over Reading.
Despite winning the tie on penalties and handing senior debuts to four players - Bruno Jordao, Meritan Shabani, Taylor Perry and Luke Cundle - the evening was tinged with disappointment for the head coach, as Jordao and Shabani were both carried off the pitch due to injury.
On an up-and-down evening in the Carabao Cup
“I think the first-half was good, was well-played – a lot of players were new and I was very happy, but it was also sad in the end about the injuries of Bruno and Shabani – very sad.
“But the first-half was good, we played good, controlled the game, created chances, played well in situations, well defended, but the second-half was not so good.
“When we were down to 10-men, one man less, and Reading were pushing, crossing balls, the game became harder.
“The noise in the penalty shootout was fantastic, the fans were pushing the team, and it’s easier to take a penalty with such noise. They played their part in that, and in the end, we are happy because we wanted to go through and we did go through.”
On his four debutants
“These boys play in the same shape, they train with us on a daily basis, they know their tasks and they have a lot of talent but to mix it and play organised is the best option, and they did well.
“It’s important in all competitions [to give young players a chance], when you have the chance and when you have the confidence on the ball, and you feel he’s ready to play then he’ll play. Then it’s up to you in the future.”
On injuries to Jordao and Shabani
“It was a good day because some players had their first chances, but in the end, it was a terrible day because of the injuries that we had.
“They’re both bad but we’ll have to see how they are. That’s the worst part, but we have to be ready and the boys get stronger and come back again.
“Shabani is now being analysed by the doctor and then we will know what happened, but it looks bad. Bruno is a different situation – someone fell on him, he twisted his ankle; let’s see.”
On perfect penalties
“They were good penalties, they were well rehearsed yesterday, so that’s why we train them and put them into practice.
“The same thing they did yesterday they did today, so it’s perfect. John (Ruddy) also did fantastic tonight.”
On the winning feeling
“It’s good. Our fans were a team and we expect the same on Saturday because it’s a new challenge and we need to be strong, and it’s going to be a very tough, tough game against Watford and we know that.”