Although he would rather not play football if it’s not in front of packed crowds, Nuno Espirito Santo understands the role the sport is playing behind closed doors in helping people take their minds off the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wolves return to Molineux on Monday evening for a clash with Crystal Palace and once again, supporters will not be present inside the stadium.
At his pre-match press conference, the head coach spoke about why he doesn’t enjoy football without the fans, Covid-19’s impact on the transfer window, and Adama Traore’s ongoing shoulder injury.
On football returning without crowds
“What I said in March hasn’t changed much. I think we are still in the middle of a big problem in the world, but football is helping. I hope so, but at the same time, this is not the football that everybody wants.
“When you go to the stadium and you have all these protocols and all these things, there is a fear. Then you go home and turn on your TV and see all the problems that’s happening in the world, you cannot get away from that.
“Football is helping people back in their home and I think this is our spirit of mission that we have as professionals to deliver it.”
On the summer transfer window
“Coronavirus has impacted already on football and it’s going to impact more, as it is impacting every day on our society.
“Football is part of an industry inside society, so it will be a huge impact regarding the transfer window, the timings, the values, players, transfers, all these things will be new. So, us as a club, we have to prepare ourselves.
“I don’t expect big amounts of money will be involved in the transfer window. Not only in football, in society, there are a lot of things we have to look at, knowing there are a lot of people in need, so it’s up for us to make a step forward and help. All these things are involved.”
Being involved in as many games as we have already, having the will and belief to go over and over again, game by game, day by day, can only make us proud.
On having short time to recover between games
“Always after a game we have issues to assess. It’s important to recover well and we have a couple of days to go. Games comes fast, so we have to recover and prepare.
“We are monitoring the progress [of Traore’s shoulder injury], knowing that he has an issue there, but he’s been able to overcome and been able to compete.
“We have to always be monitoring that situation and try to improve it, knowing that it’s very hard because there’s a lot of contact when he’s involved in the actions.
“He’s a strong boy, but he’s still human. He’s put under enormous pressure from the opponents.
“Of course, we have a plan, but it’s not only me. It’s the technical staff, the medical staff, doctor, the player, we know what the problem is and we will try in the right moment to decide how to solve it. But this is not now.”
On pride in being a point behind last season’s tally
“The players have been immensely committed since the beginning. We feel proud of the way we have operated as a group.
“Being involved in as many games as we have already, having the will and belief to go over and over again, game by game, day by day, can only make us proud and a lot of credit to the players for it.”