Nuno Espirito Santo insists his team adapt rather than change depending on their opposition as Wolves head to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, looking to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to eight matches.
Praising the work done at the Cherries by Eddie Howe, Nuno knows his side will have a tough test on their hands if they are to claim a third win on the bounce and the club’s first ever top-flight victory at Bournemouth.
In his pre-match press conference, the Wolves head coach also spoke about how his players have recovered after their international exploits and his former Porto boss Jose Mourinho’s return to the Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur.
On Bournemouth and Eddie Howe
“They are a very good team, with very good players and a very good manager, so it’s going to be very, very tough tomorrow, and we have to compete well because Bournemouth are no doubt a very good team.
“The work of Eddie is fantastic. He’s fantastic. We met him last season and we had time to chat. I admire and respect him a lot and all these years that he’s been in Bournemouth he’s done an amazing job.
“We will approach it like we always do, we don’t change. We adapt, we don’t change. We know the opponent that we have, we know how good it is, but our approach is always the same – trying to go through every detail that we can to prepare well the game, give the info to the players and always relying on our way of doing things. We keep the same shape and we try to compete as best as we can.”
On assessing injuries
“We have a couple of players that we have to assess. We are still assessing them this afternoon for tomorrow. Adama has an injury that he had from before in the last game, during the break, but we have to assess him. Bennett is getting better but, like I said, we have to assess, there are a lot of things we still have to work on.
“We have to manage a lot of things; minutes of the players, the opponent, the moment of the season. We have to assess a lot of things, but this is what we do from day one. Always trying to figure out the best decisions, knowing solutions, understanding the recovery time of the players and the staff and players work very hard to always be able to perform well.
On his squad of internationals
“We had a lot of players involved in terms of national teams, but I think it was good because all of them were in important moments for their own countries, achieving qualifications for big events, playing every minute, and some not so, like Pedro and Vinagre – they returned from the under-21 Portugal squad.
“I think the final point of going to a national team is a reflection of how we work in our own club, so we are glad that some of our players went to their national teams and had a chance to make their first appearances. It’s good for the player, for his motivation and for his confidence. It’s a tribute for the way he works on a daily basis.
“At the same time, we stayed here, we worked and now we receive them over a couple of days. Raul was a late one to join us, but again, we have to assess him because it’s not a lot of time to train and we’ll decide for tomorrow.
“In terms of what this international break meant; they came healthy, which is the most important aspect of it.”
On Mourinho being appointed at Spurs
“I think Mourinho speaks for himself. He’s a winner, all the titles he’s achieved is fantastic. He’s a fantastic manager and someone who I respect and admire a lot, and I’m happy that he’s back in football.
“At the same time, I’m not happy that Mauricio [Pochettino], a fantastic manager also has left, but this is the life of ourselves as managers. We have to be prepared, we are in, we are out, but no doubt you are talking about two fantastic managers.
“It was many years ago [playing under Mourinho], and it was two fantastic seasons that we had in Porto. We win everything that we had, we compete and this desire to win is something I will always remember about Mourinho. He’s a born winner.”