Nuno Espirito Santo was pleased with his side’s improved second-half performance as Wolves had to settle for a replay against Manchester United in their Emirates FA Cup encounter.
Despite Wolves having the ball in the back of the net when Matt Doherty’s header beat Sergio Romero which was then disallowed for a handball by the Irishman, the head coach believed his side created enough chances to have earned more out of the third round tie.
On the goalless draw with United
“It was tough, but a good performance. Quality – sometimes there were moments, mistakes certainly, it wasn’t easy to play football, but I think we played better in the second-half.
“In the first-half Manchester United had the ball, we created a lot of situations, and maybe we had chances because they didn’t have players in the box. All the players coming out created us a lot of problems, to press, to recover and I think we did much better in the second-half.
“We controlled the game, dominated possession and had some good combinations, so I’m happy with that. But it was a tough game, against a very difficult team who are very organised, there were not too many spaces, but we have another one to go.
“We have to go, we want to compete. We play, we recover, we play. We are ready for it.”
On facing a replay
“I want replays, we want to go to Old Trafford and compete, but if you’d ask me my preference, I’d go straight to penalties. The game would become more emotional, for sure. The FA Cup would be more emotional if it went straight to penalties as both teams would go for it.
“But I think that we did enough. We played good, the second-half we created a lot of situations, we recovered the ball very high.
“Every time the players of Manchester United were under pressure, they went for the long pass and we controlled that. This allowed us to keep us on the front foot.
“That was the idea on the pitch, we always play to win, we always play to compete and to be the best that we can.”
On Benny Ashley-Seal’s full debut
“It was good, Benny did well. He started the game well, a couple of runs gave a bit of trouble to Maguire and Lindelof and after that the routines ran out there.
“We have to understand that he’s a young boy, he’s progressing, he works with us every day, but he doesn’t have the competition routines of the rest of the team.
“But the under-23s and Benny today give us a big help. We know our reality needs this moment of the boys. We need his help and he gave us a big, big help today.”
On Doherty’s disallowed goal
“I haven’t seen the images yet, but I think it was a ball that was going inside the goal and it touched the hand. These things happen.”
On players’ fitness in busy schedule
“In that aspect it’s very good. Every player gave a good answer. It was a very tough schedule, we started on the 25th July last year and have had many games in such a short space of time.
“I think we’ve managed well and at the beginning we survived. It was important we survived in all aspects because with who we are playing and who we want to continue progressing and competing, that’s why we had to manage in some moments because it was required.”
On Patrick Cutrone’s omission
“I won’t say many things about that, but yesterday we had a good conversation with Patrick and we decided for him not to be involved in the game.
“It was the best decision so let’s wait and see what’s going on. Everything is ok. Something may be happening.”
On January transfers
“The transfer window is open, so anything could happen. As managers, we have to be ready because anything could happen. But we are delighted to have Raul [Jimenez] here, we are delighted.
“This is the right moment to show it. Now we have a good week to work and to make good decisions because we need to bring players who can help us and improve.”