Nuno Espirito Santo insists the past memories Wolves’ players and supporters shared together will keep their bond strong, despite football now taking placed behind closed doors.
Wolves restart what had been another scintillating Premier League campaign on Saturday with a clash against West Ham United, which will take place at an empty London Stadium. However, a sense of togetherness will remain in the Wolves camp, and Nuno and his squad understand their “duty” to put smiles back on faces.
On his message to fans at home
“We will feel their support wherever we are because we have such a long, and such good memories of moments together that will give us the strength to fight and play for them. I’m sure they will be glad to see us back again, even if it’s on TV.”
On the lack of home advantage
“We’ve been watching other leagues, other countries compete and football has changed. You can see by the amount and the percentages of away wins that are existing, of course it’s changed.
“The impact of the crowd will never be replaced, never. It’s impossible, because it’s the foundation of football, we play for our fans, we play for the stadiums to have fans and enjoy. So, to not have that, everything has to change. We are trying to realise, how can we do things?
“The perception of space during the matches of the players is totally different. You can see that not so normal things are happening. Mistakes that have to do, something, with lack of concentration are happening and I actually put that down to the simple fact that there are no fans. There is nothing that can replace a full stadium of fans.”
On welcoming Jonny back
“The pandemic has allowed all the teams to recover the players. Some injuries that required more time are OK. We had some issues, not only Adama, we had Jonny who was away, but has now joined the group. Everybody is OK.
“West Ham, even with some absences, will be a very strong team. David Moyes has a strong squad and it’s going to be very tough for us.”
"It’s a pack, it’s a family and we try to take care of each other, protect each other, at all moments, even when we are so far away."— Wolves (@Wolves) June 19, 2020
On the quick turnaround following no football
“We are trying to prepare for the competition with not enough time. I can see that we will need more time to go back, because we have to realise never in football was there so much time of stoppage without competition.
“Almost three months – not even at holidays have the players faced such a long period without activity, so it’s not enough, but at the same time, I think we have a duty to everybody to present ourselves to try cheer up the people.
“I think football is not the same, but it’s still football. So, I think it will be good, but as the manager, I would like more time, of course.”