Nuno Espirito Santo insists his players will be approaching this evening’s trip to Old Trafford the same way they would any other tie as Wolves face Manchester United an Emirates FA Cup third round replay.
Wolves, who had to settle for a goalless draw when the sides faced each other at Molineux last weekend, enjoyed a run to the semi-final of the historic competition last season, but the head coach claimed the team’s experiences does not give his players extra motivation as they compete in every match they enter.
On his team’s approach at United
“All the games are important, all the competitions are important. We don’t change our approaches, neither to games, neither to opponents, neither to competitions – it’s always the same.
“Tomorrow is the most important game that we have. It’s a fantastic stadium to visit. Old Trafford is one of the biggest and most important stadiums in football, so we have to be motivated and we are – we want to compete and try to play well.
“The history behind Old Trafford is fantastic, we have to enjoy it. We have to first play organised, then use our talent to compete well. It’s a fantastic team, so it’s going to be very tough tomorrow.”
On last season’s FA Cup run
“It doesn’t increase our appetite, we are always ready to compete and play and this is what we’re made of. We’re a squad that loves to compete, loves to play. Every chance we have to play, and to play in Old Trafford, we must enjoy it and we must embrace it.
“[Last season’s semi-final] does not give us more motivation, we are motivated for all the games, for all the training sessions, we are 100 per cent motivated. We don’t go by momentums, we don’t go by up and downs, we always constant, we try to sustain our level.”
On practising penalties
“Yes. Every player took their penalties, practice. Tomorrow, in the eventuality we go to overtime, we have to assess who’s the players in the pitch and make the right decisions.
“We try to reproduce, we make the player walk from the half-way line, take his time to focus and concentrate, take his penalty. It’s his moment.
“I truly believe that routines create habits.”
On FA Cup replays
“You asked me [before the third round match at Molineux] if the game today didn’t have a replay, would you prefer penalties – yes. I know for the next round, if you ask me again, I’d prefer one game, decides, finished.
“If the draw was us away at Old Trafford, I’d prefer one game also. That doesn’t say that I didn’t want another game, or that doesn’t say that my players weren’t motivated because I said if I had a chance to choose...”
On removing transfer windows
“Always open? That’s absurd. I don’t recall [a time without transfer windows]. I started working as a manager in 2010/11, so before that, I didn’t think anything about transfer markets.
“I think the January transfer window is important, to rebalance, there are things you cannot control, so it gives you a chance to rebalance your squad, for all the teams.”