Nuno Espirito Santo was being tight-lipped over whether he will make widespread changes to his team ahead of Thursday evening’s final Europa League group stage match against Besiktas.
Wolves return to Molineux after three days of warm weather training in Marbella, a regular in-season haunt for Nuno’s team since his arrival at the club.
With the head coach taking several members of the under-23s to the training camp this week, Nuno was not moved on which of his young stars could possibly feature in the starting line-up against the Turkish outfit, but did confirm John Ruddy and Ruben Vinagre will be involved on Thursday night.
On Marbella training camp
“It was good for us. It was something that we planned, like always, and was good; good training. It’s always important for us, we’ve been doing this for three years already and is something we appreciate and gives us the chance to be together for 24 hours – almost.
“This allows you to have different activities, the players they have their own, we have team activities, but more important that we are together, we train and we prepare ourselves. First for this game and then for the future.
“The more useful thing is the time that we spend together as a group. The youngsters went with us, trained well and prepared. They will be an option, for sure they will be, and they are ready.”
On giving young players a chance
“For us, we have to make decisions. These are not based on our opponent, or what our opponent has said, but it’s always a good team, Besiktas is a very good team, they have good players.
“I’m aware of the list of players that didn’t travel, but for sure they will present themselves as a tough opponent, like we always expect.
“I think we did a good job before, in the previous matches, that allowed us to take this game as an advantage and an opportunity to use this game for some players to get competition, who will be important for us in the future.
“Each game is a new challenge, a new situation where new things will happen. I’m not going to tell you the team, but I think we are ready to compete well and it’s a good opportunity for us as a squad to compete well and prepare ourselves for the future.”
On the challenge of Besiktas
“First, we have to compete. It is going to be a tough game, but we’re here at Molineux, and I expect not a full house, but a lot of Wolves fans to see us perform and this is what we have to do; compete well, play good, perform well and go to the maximum of our capacities. This is what we always ask for from every player.
“I wouldn’t say Besiktas form is a surprise, but it’s a big club, a big team, and clearly didn’t begin the year the best way, but as you can see now they are improving and it is going to be tough.
“We felt back in Istanbul how difficult it was for us. We were very composed, very organised in that game, but in the last minutes we had a moment of luck that could give us the win. But it was a tough game and it will be very tough again.”
On January transfer plans
“It’s not based on that [reaching the last 32 of the Europa League]. It’s based on many things that we have, that we need, many things in our analysis, but it’s not based on the next phase of the Europa League.
“I think it’s a building process, not based on competitions or games or situations. It’s what we need, which players, which positions, which qualities, which characteristics we need that would make us stronger, make us able to compete every game – for this season, and for the future.
“It’s based on that, not Europa League.”