After helping Wolves into the Europa League quarter-finals with a stunning display against Olympiacos at Molineux on Thursday evening, Rui Patricio is hopeful of going further than he ever has before in club European competition.
The Portuguese number one reached this stage of the Europa League in 2011/12 and 2017/18, going as far as the semis at the start of the last decade, but having so far missing out on a place in the final, the stopper has his sights set on a finale in Cologne.
However, Patricio knows Wolves still have a long way to go in the knockout single-leg tournament in Germany, beginning on Tuesday night where his side will be underdogs against five-time Europa League champions Sevilla.
On a match-winning performance against Olympiacos
“I made crucial saves, but just like our defence made some fantastic blocks which a lot of people don’t mention, the blocks they made show how they play as a unit.
“Obviously, there are times when you look at those individual moments where the player scores the goal or the goalkeeper makes the save, but it’s the whole team; everyone on the pitch, the players who weren’t on the pitch, those who were out, the coaching staff, all the work that goes on from a wider perspective was really important.
“The people will watch the players on the pitch, but a lot of the time the work also comes from the outside.”
On a quarter-final with Europa League regulars Sevilla
“It’s going to be a really tough game as well against an excellent side. As we’ve faced up until now, they’re going to be a very difficult team. We’re going to prepare as best as we can to achieve our objective because that’s the most important thing, to prepare well and be at our best.
“We’ll prepare ourselves in the same way we have done up until now. We won’t change the way we prepare for games.
“Sevilla have an excellent team but we’re going to go there and give it our all, we’re going to compete and fight for our objectives. The main thing we’re going to do is compete and give our all so that we play well and achieve our objective.”
On aims for the Europa League finals
“Right now, we’re obviously going to take each game as it comes because we’ve got to win the remaining games to get to the final and win. Although, undoubtedly, it’s every player, every coach and staff’s dream to win this competition.
“That’s obvious. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not our dream to win. We all want to win, that’s why we’re playing in the tournament.
“But we know that first, we have to get past Sevilla and then we’d have to get past another team and then the final where we’d have to win. So, there’s a way to go yet, but no doubt our objective is to win.”