Nuno Espirito Santo is hoping Wolves can sustain the levels of performance they showed to claim back-to-back Premier League victories into what he expects to be a tough test against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United on Sunday.
A pair of 1-0 wins over Fulham and Leeds United have given cause for optimism following successive defeats, with Maximilian Kilman earning a new five-year deal having starred in both matches, and Nuno has praised the impact the defender has had, but challenged the 23-year-old to continue his progression.
On importance of successive wins in an open Premier League
“It’s very important. It’s very important when you are able to perform and the next game to sustain your level of performance is always what we aim for.
“I think it’s too early to predict what is going to happen, and for us, it’s a matter of going game by game with our approach, but it’s too early to predict what is going to happen.
“In terms of the competition, the Premier League is very hard, every game is very tough and you cannot really predict anything.”
If you know him personally, you can see that there's a fantastic boy there. A boy that really is committed, he's happy, and he sees embracing his own challenge of becoming better. He’s mature and is a good guy.
On the challenge of Newcastle
“I'm expecting a very tough and demanding match. Newcastle has a good manager in Steve Bruce, I know him well, and he has quality players, talented players, and it’s going to be a very tough.
“They are a very tough opponent, and all the matches we’ve had against Newcastle were very competitive, very intense, and we expect the same for Sunday.
“I'm absolutely sure that it is very early in the competition to establish any kind of difference between teams. I think every team is improving, every team is taking time and needs time, so as the competition goes by, it will be much harder, because the standards will grow.
“That's what I see in us, in Newcastle, and they are a very good team with very good players.”
On Kilman’s new five-year contract
“Max started with us a long time ago. He came from the under-23s, established himself in the first-team, and he had the chance to play many games last season, and he's doing well.
“He's doing well, he’s performed well, he’s working very hard and very committed, so I’m very pleased.
“If you know him personally, you can see that there's a fantastic boy there. A boy that really is committed, he's happy, and he sees embracing his own challenge of becoming better. He’s mature and is a good guy.”
🎶 "It's not futsal anymore....it's not futsal anymore!"— Wolves (@Wolves) October 21, 2020
A 𝑴𝒂𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉 performance from Maximilian Kilman.
On the qualities that make Kilman different
“All the players are different, and all the players have their own characteristics, but the background and during the growing of Max as a player, made him different than others.
“But that has good things and has bad things, and I think during this time – more than two years he’s been here – we’ve been able to improve the routines that he had before, based on his background of Futsal, and all these things, to make him better in terms of what we want for him to perform in a pitch.
“At the same time, the good things that he has in terms of possession of the ball, in lines of pass that he brings, for me, his background is good, but the lines are different, the space is different.
“We try to give as much info, solutions, work and details that can make players better, and this is the case of Max. This is a long process, and even before last season, he performed very, very well. Now the challenge is to sustain and grow from where his is.”
On Semedo adapting to English football
“He’s done well, but it’s hard. I think it’s very difficult for all the players that come from other countries to accommodate fast to the Premier League, to the demands of the Premier League, the quality of the players they face, but Nelson is doing well.
“Of course, like everybody, he has things to improve.”