Nuno Espirito Santo insists the first leg, and away goal Wolves scored in Athens five months ago, is irrelevant in his players’ minds as they approach the second leg of their last 16 clash with Olympiacos on Thursday.
Pedro Neto earned Wolves a 1-1 draw in Greece back in March, and in turn a valuable away goal, but when the two sides reunite in Wolverhampton, that won’t be on Nuno’s mind. As usual, Wolves have prepared diligently, taking any knowledge possible from former Olympiacos man Daniel Podence, and are now ready to do their club proud in what the head coach describes as a “big game”.
On Thursday’s approach
“It’s a new game. We know anything can happen. It doesn’t mean anything what happened in the first game, it’ll be a mistake to rely on that, so let’s compete well and try to perform good.
“We’ve looked at them, the quality and talent they have, and their manager. We have analysed and we know that what is in front of us is a tough opponent and we are looking at ourselves.
“Let’s try to be compact, solid and I think the players are ready to go. The only thing missing is going to be the fans tomorrow, but we have to deal with the situation and overcome it.”
On having the same mindset
“The process is the same. It’s a continuation of all the seasons. Game by game, knowing we have tomorrow, but we don’t forget what is behind and ignore what is in front of us.
“It’s a game by game process, so each game we approach, trying to give as much detail we can, prepare as good as we can, so we’ve been able to compete. Olympiacos is going to be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it.”
We go again...— Wolves (@Wolves) August 5, 2020
On Podence’s insight
“It’s always useful, all the details, all the info you can gather and pass to the players – it’s important. Among them also, they speak and share opinions. Daniel is a big source of information, so we have to take all we can from him.”
On what to expect
“I’m excepting a tough game because they’re a good team. We felt difficulties in Athens, and we’ve been looking at them. We know they’re a good team.
“What we did before is not so important, it’s always new situations that will happen, new questions in the game. We’re going to face a tough opponent, but we are looking forward to the game and are ready to go.”
On facing Pedro Martins
“I know him very well because we played together. We were teammates and he’s a very good friend of mine. Let’s play the game. For sure, both of us want our teams to perform well and in the end, we’ll see, but the friendship will be there.”
On learning along the way
“We have learned a lot, being involved in a European competition and, at the same time, being able to perform well in the Premier League. It brought us a lot of knowledge, especially for the players.
“We’ve been all over the place and we have young players, who’ve been involved for the first time in these kind of challenges. The balance of squad, with the international players, it’s been good.
“The knowledge and sharing of experience make young players grow. Not only the players, I think for the whole club it’s been a huge challenge which can only make us better.”