Nuno Espirito Santo insists his side know how to compete in a derby clash ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Molineux due to their previous meetings in the Championship-winning campaign.
The head coach was in charge of Wolves the last time the two sides met at Molineux, with his team being victorious in a 2-0 win over Villa and he is expecting another intense atmosphere this weekend.
On taking momentum from Slovan win
“We’ve got to focus on Sunday. We did very well on Thursday night, it was a very important night for everybody, and I think Molineux enjoys European football.
“We are all delighted, we embraced the challenge and the next challenge is Sunday – and it’s a big one.
“Our mentality doesn’t change. It’s not about the momentum, it’s about preparing to compete. We prepare to compete.”
On competing Thursday/Sunday schedule
“There’s a lot of things [that the players need to improve]. On Thursday, we managed the game better, the distances of the players, because we had a lot of possession, so the impact is totally different.
“This is the growing process that we want, so we have to improve, we have to work a lot, and it’s about growing during the competition. Each moment that we compete is a moment that we try new things, new solutions, new lines, new processes – it’s growing with the competition.
“It’s very good and it’s what the team needs – to compete.”
On intensity of a derby with Villa
“Now it’s going to be about recovery and working on Villa, for what is going to be a big game. A big game here at Molineux, a big derby, and we’re going to be ready for it.”
On Dean Smith transforming his side
“Fantastic. Amazing. We played against Dean in the Championship, and we were talking about that, and he’s a fantastic manager, a very good manager.”
On facing Villa in the Premier League
“We played them already in the Championship, we know what it is like in a derby, and we are the same.
“We haven’t changed a lot, we are the same people, we know what it means.
“For the locality it’s fantastic, because what the fans enjoy is good football. Villa is a good team, we are a good team and we’re going to play good, so it’s going to be a good game.”
On injuries to his side
“Morgan [Gibbs-White] we still have to take care of. He’s still got this lower back pain that he has and we have to offload him and he wasn’t on the bench against Slovan.
“‘Benno’ [Ryan Bennett] has come back, [Romain] Saiss is better – so it’s managing the squad. I hope Morgan can join us.
“I think Adama [Traore] is fine. Let’s see. But this is competing, this happens in what was a tough game for us.”
On Max Kilman’s performances
“First of all, I’m delighted for him. He performed very well and you can see the growing of him from the first time he played – I think it was at home with Pyunik – so he’s progressing.
“Each time he goes on the pitch he feels better, he feels stronger, and we cannot forget where Max came from. I’m delighted for him. On Thursday he felt good, so well done Max.”