Nuno Espirito Santo reiterated the importance of his defence following Wolves’ 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, which extended his side’s unbeaten league run to eight matches.
As well as continuing the 100 per cent winning record following a return to action after the three-month Premier League suspension, the win over their West Midlands rivals, thanks to Leander Dendoncker's second-half finish, saw Nuno’s side earn their seventh clean sheet in their unbeaten eight-game run - and 11th overall - and the head coach was quick to point out how everything his players do on the pitch begins from the back.
On extending the unbeaten run at Villa Park
“We performed well, in terms of organisation, staying in the game and controlling Villa in the way they wanted to do things, I thought we approached it really well.
“Then we didn’t quite settle down at the beginning of the game, it took us a bit of time. Villa used the press, with good intensity on our possession.
“But the team stayed in the game, stayed organised, won quite a lot of second balls, which was important and when we had a couple of possessions, I thought the players got in the game, started controlling better, and creating chances.
“It’s a tough opponent to play; very strong and talented players.”
On building from the back
“Everything starts on the defensive process of the team and our goal is always a clean sheet.
“If you keep that in mind and work towards that, eventually the organisation will provide with the talent that we have in our players that can unbalance teams.”
On another second-half winning goal
“Honestly, everybody knows that’s in football, you can plan, but after that, anything can change. Today, we had an idea, it was about controlling the game, because Villa have four midfielders, so much short possession, that it gets tough.
“Then, try to open them to allow us to get possessions on the wide areas. It’s about creating unbalances on the side, so we can finish down the middle and in the box.”
On Dendoncker’s fifth goal of the season
“I’m very happy for Leander because he’s a very hard worker, he’s a runner, he gives us so much and he truly deserves this moment.”
Dendonker picks his corner with aplomb 🎯— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 27, 2020
A great team move from Wolves! 🐺 pic.twitter.com/yuClJR7jZJ
On getting used to the ‘new normal’
“Nobody will ever get used to it. We are without something that is irreplaceable, and that is our fans.
“We are all aware that we are happy to have football back, but at the same we are hoping that everything goes back to what we had.
“Let’s try to provide good games, but let’s try to bring our fans back to the stadiums.”
On a week’s rest before facing Arsenal
“It’s been a tough cycle and what’s in front of us will be very hard. It’s a welcome week of work, but at the same time recover.
“It’s time to recover and prepare, because next week we have three games in one week, so it’s going to be tough.
“In this moment of the season, we have to understand that it’s demanding for the players, but it’s all about preparing ourselves to compete and then see what happens.”