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Thelwell expecting tough Europa League tie

Sporting director Kevin Thelwell knows that Wolves have a tough task on their hands to reach the last 16 of the Europa League after drawing RCD Espanyol in the round of 32.

Wolves will face a two-legged affair with the Spanish side, who currently sit bottom of La Liga but reached this stage of the Europa League after going through three qualifying rounds and the group stages losing just one match.

Despite Espanyol’s domestic form, Thelwell understands that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will have to be at their best if they are to make it through to the third round of major European competition for the first time since Wolves reached the UEFA Cup final in 1972.

On drawing Espanyol in the round of 32

“It’s a really interesting draw. I think the first thing to mention is that there’s no easy games, because when you’re in the last 32, everybody’s so committed to the Europa League and doing well in it.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game, but of course, them having the opportunity to be at home in the second leg is going to make it even more difficult.

“It will be a tough game, but we’re all really looking forwards to it.”

On the domestic form of their opponents

“We understand that their league form has not been as good, but they’ve still got some very good players, and they’re also winners of their group.

“I’m sure they’re going to be very committed in getting to the last 16, and to show there’s no easy games at this level.”

On taking confidence from the group stages

“I think we’ve been really pleased in which we’ve been playing. We found it slightly difficult to adapt, but it’s our first time back in Europe for a very long time.

“But I think we’ve come to terms with balancing Premier League and Europa League, so of course we’ll be confident in trying to do well.”