Nuno Espirito Santo has revealed Diogo Jota will miss Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Manchester United due to injury.
The head coach spoke to the media on Friday and, while news was negative on Jota, he was in positive spirits regarding Will Boly, who continues to return from a fractured left fibula suffered in October. Nuno also provided an update on Jesus Vallejo’s situation, the progress of Adama Traore and his hopes for January incomings.
On Jota’s injury
“Unfortunately, Diogo is not available. In the last game, the moment of the red card for Kabasele, no intention at all, but he had a strong impact. Tomorrow and probably the next days, he’s out.
“He’s being assessed, he’s done an MRI, but it’s not good. We have to wait for all the blood, that the impact caused, to go down, so the ‘doc’ can evaluate him better and assess him. After that we’ll have a proper look at the diagnosis.
“Every time a player is not available, it’s not good. The reality is we have a small squad, so every time a player is not an option, it causes you problems. At the same time, problems, we must find solutions. That’s what we’re finding out now.”
On Boly’s improvements
“He’s running already on the pitch and I’m so happy. Naturally he’ll improve – it’s a good sign.”
On bringing in reinforcements
“We need players. Now is the right moment to start working on that, next week. First the match of tomorrow, then we have decisions to make because we need them.
“At this moment we have to look what we did before and it gives you a chance to bring things that can improve you. This is what I’m looking at – the right decisions that can improve us so we can continue to compete well.
“There are several ways to improve your performance. You have to find new solutions, that’s what we try to do, bring players that can give us things that allow us to keep on growing and improving.”
On Traore’s improvements
“He’s been working very hard, not only this season, but since he arrived. Not only him, but all the players. He’s doing well and I’m delighted he’s in contention for the (Player of the Month) award because he deserves it. He’s a fantastic player and a hard-working boy.
“The space for improving is not only speed, there are a lot of aspects that he should improve. He’s already fast enough.
“We made 32 crosses to the box in the previous game (against Watford), so we created a lot of things, arrived to the final third of the pitch, it’s about connecting with the last touch when you put the ball in the box. Let’s try to improve that.”
On Traore leaving
On Vallejo’s future
“I’m going to be clear, Jesus probably is going because he wants to play, he’s a young and talented player that we brought here with high expectations, but it didn’t work out. It’s time for him to go and find a club where he can play and keep on progressing because the talent is there.
“It’s based on reality, he had moments that he played, moments that he performed well, and some moments he didn’t perform well. That’s the case of Vallejo. Clearly it didn’t work out.
“When things don’t work out, you have to look at yourself as coaching staff, how can you make things work for the best? Sometimes you don’t have time, it’s three parts – you, the player, the clubs, all these things.”