Nuno Espirito Santo admits reaching the Europa League round of 16 is ‘massive’ for Wolves, despite falling to defeat in their last 32 second leg against RCD Espanyol.
Although he believes there were parts of the game where his side could have improved, the head coach was pleased with the organisation of his players as his Wolves team put their name in Friday’s draw, after reaching the furthest stage of a European competition the club has achieved in almost 50 years.
On defeat in Barcelona
“It was a tough game. Espanyol pressed very high and controlled many areas, we were organised, but we should have done better with the ball.
“When we analyse the game, we have to realise the players and we have to be cautious and prudent about it.
“I think we should have done better, but the hard work was there, the organisation was there, the fans are happy because we made something that is massive for us. It’s a lot of hard work; last season, qualifiers, play-offs, group stages – all these things, so we are proud of what we’ve been doing.”
On reaching the last 16
“It is exciting. It’s massive. The building of the team, the process that we have been through, so we’re delighted.
“There’s been some very tough teams. It started in the qualifiers, the play-off was tough, the group stage was tough, and we’ve had to manage the competitions, which at the same time is tough with a small squad.
“But I’m very proud with the way the players have been working and dedicating themselves, and I think it has been massive. It’s massive for the club, massive for the city and we are happy, but we want to keep going. Keep going with the hard work, and this gel between players is amazing, but we need to keep on going.
“Tomorrow we will see the draw and now we start thinking about the next game. All we are focused on now is the Premier League.”
On Podence’s performance
“It’s good. He came in the transfer window, he’s adapting, he’s knowing his teammates better, he’s learning the shape, but he’s a versatile player – he can play wide, he can play inside; but he has talent and I think he did well, but he can improve.”
On evaluating Wolves’ Europa League journey
“You can only evaluate and dedicate some time when it’s finished. We are still on the journey, so when you’re in the journey you just have to focus on your daily tasks and keep on going.
“I’m just focused on what we have to do, and now, what we have to do is recover. They are already working on this process in the dressing room, because in 72 hours we are playing.
“Tomorrow we’re going to train and then we are going to travel to play Tottenham. This is the reality, day by day, game by game. Just focus on what you have to do, prepare well and compete.”