Nuno Espirito Santo knows a special atmosphere awaits his team when the knockout stages of the Europa League come to Molineux on Thursday evening.
Wolves host RCD Espanyol in the first leg of the last 32 tie, before heading to Barcelona the following week for the return leg. Nuno insists there is no advantage of being the home side first and knows two tough games await, but a noisy home support on Thursday night will have a part to play.
On playing at Molineux first
“It’s always special. The group stages, all the games were a full house. The fans enjoyed, it’s amazing. We want to have this atmosphere at Molineux, our fans helping us, creating a fantastic atmosphere like they always do. It’s fantastic for us.
“There’s no advantage or disadvantage [playing at home first]. It’s a game. Our interpretation is that it’s a game where we want to compete. It’s not about what we’re going to do after, because it’s the first leg or the second leg, it’s just a game.
“Play the game, do your tasks, enjoy, we have talent, we have organisation, we have to play the game, compete. We have to play tomorrow. Away, at home – it’s always the same, the approach of us is exactly the same.
“It’s the same idea, and we might say something about it, but it doesn’t change. The philosophy doesn’t change."
On Espanyol as opponents
“It’s going to be a tough game. The table doesn’t mean anything, it’s a different competition and we’re going to face a very tough opponent with quality players. Abelardo is a good manager, I know him, I’ve faced him before and it’s going to be very tough for us.
“Espanyol is a very good team. There are differences in the competitions, but I’m not a 100 per cent follower of La Liga now. I know this week has been hard, we’ve worked really hard on Espanyol to find the details that we think our players need to do a good game and compete well.
“It doesn’t mean anything. They achieved something very difficult, like us, to qualify for the Europa League, so it’s going to be a tough game.”
On Oskar Buur joining the first-team
“We did it last season with Max Kilman and this season Oskar is 100 per cent a first-team player. It’s inside our philosophy, we are happy with him, he’s working well, and is an option for us.
“I recall Oskar scored against Hull City in the Championship, so it’s been a while. He’s progressing, he’s working well, and he has talent. He’s inside of the idea we have for the squad, he understands the shape, he knows the tasks. It’s an option.
“The pathway is there, as long as the young players dedicate themselves in their space of completion. The under-23s know any moment they can step up and give us a hand, because we need all the help we can get from the under-23s.”
On Leonardo Campana
“Similar. He’s adjusted well. Him, Daniel [Podence], it’s about getting inside the dynamics of the team. It takes time but I think the squad is helping also, the way they embrace them and show them our way. It’s good.”