Nuno Espirito Santo said Wolves are benefiting from their versatility, after he tweaked his formation to positive effect in the draw with Newcastle United on Sunday.
After a slow first-half, Nuno altered his team’s shape from 3-5-2 to 3-4-3 without making a substitution and saw them dominate proceedings and fight back to earn a point. Jonny was the man responsible for the equaliser, but it’s the signs of his team’s building process which was most pleasing to the head coach full-time.
On the change in formation
“It’s to do with having versatile players. It allowed us, inside the same starting eleven, to change the formation, the shape, the idea that we have for the game.
“This is growing, the way we want to be. We started three seasons ago, trying to build a team that can adapt to any situation. Even if we have big players like Boly out, we can still compete, and today was clear evidence of that, so I’m very proud.”
On an improved second-half
“It’s not about the points. I feel we performed better in the second half, we were the better team. Newcastle are a very organised team, they have clear danger in transitions with Almiron and Maximin, they go really fast.
“We had problems there, but I think second-half we dealt with that situation more and created so much. We played good, combined well, both sides with clear chances, so I’m happy and the challenge is to do it in both halves.”
On missing Boly
“It’s a big blow, of course, he’s a big player. We are going to miss him because his presence is good, but it’s something that can happen, he was doing a box, jumped, fell down and it was terrible.
“It was a moment of sadness to see him shouting and suffering, but today we gave a good answer and hopefully he won’t be long away from us.”
On Traore’s influence
“He’s unique. When he and the team recognises the right moments to do the actions it’s better for us and we are delighted, let’s try to do it for 90 minutes.
“It’s a big challenge for us to sustain the performance for 90 minutes but, of course, you have an opponent in front of you, sometimes it’s not what you want to do, it’s what the other team does and Newcastle were very organised in the first-half and didn’t let us play how we wanted.”
On the busy schedule
“We are embracing the challenge. We’ve had 20 games, it’s a lot of minutes, a lot of competitions, but the effort we showed in the second-half shows how hard the boys are preparing themselves. We started recovering immediately and there’s no days off, so a lot of credit to the boys.”