Ruben Neves believes he and his Wolves teammates are well prepared to get their Premier League season back underway against West Ham United after a three month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although the league is back up and running, there will be several differences from a usual matchday for the players and staff to go through this weekend, not only the match being held behind closed doors, but their regular routines will also be disrupted.
However, having already experienced a game without supporters ahead of lockdown in the Europa League last 16 clash with Olympiacos, Neves hopes his side take the knowledge they gained from that match and take it into Saturday’s tie at the London Stadium.
On preparing for West Ham
“We are really excited to play. We were not playing since this all happened, so it’s a great feeling to be back again, preparing the game, trying to see some of the opponent details, and it’s really good for us to be back and be back on track.
“I’ve missed football a lot. I think I’ve never had such a long time stopping before, even holidays are less time than it has been, so I really miss playing and I think all the players feel the same. So, we’re really excited to be back into the games and back in the Premier League.
“I’m feeling really well. I think all of the team is really well prepared. Our staff team did a great job with us but, to be honest with you, the intensity of the game is completely different from the training sessions.”
We are feeling good, we are feeling ready to go, but let’s see in the game.
On getting back to match fitness
“Of course, there are many things different, but we’ll give our best to do the same, the same kind of game we’ve been doing since the start of the season.
“We don’t want that to happen [games to be slower]. We want to play as usual.
“We need to compete against ourselves, try to be better and better, physically and mentally. Try to get back to our routines in the game, have everything back in our minds and be ready for the match.”
On preparing for the different matchday protocols
“We are ready for it. There are many details that are different now, but I think we need to get used to it because we can’t do anything about it.
“It’s what we have at the moment, and if we want to play, if we want to enjoy the football, we need to get used to it. Try to focus as much as we can in the game and forget everything there is around it.”