Nuno Espirito Santo insists he remains against increasing the number of substitutes to five per match in the Premier League, as he doesn’t believe it will reduce injuries among players.
The EFL are now allowing five substitutions in all fixtures with the Premier League urged to revisit their rules, but the Wolves head coach has not had his opinion changed despite an apparent rise in player injuries and absences across the league.
On the prospect of the five substitutes rule being reintroduced
“That is something that has been discussed. I’m aware that they’re probably in the future going to vote again, but my opinion doesn’t change because I’m not 100 per cent sure that the fact of the subs is what’s going to prevent injury of the players and the welfare of the players.
“I have doubts that increasing the subs will decrease the number of injuries. I’m not sure about that.
“We have to separate the issues. It’s clear the fixtures, calendar, schedule, days between games is the biggest worry. It’s not about the subs, it’s about the schedule, this is the problem.
“When a player has issues, the best thing is to not play him, this way you protect him. It’s rotation, not substitutions. This is a subject that has been spoken about among managers, everyone had a chance to share their opinion, and after we wait and let the people decide.”
There were a lot of players from the under-23s involved, players that stayed here and were not involved with national teams. It’s a chance for them to work hard on small aspects that, when we get together as a team, they can help.
On Covid worries that comes with international football
“The big issue now is the virus and the increase of the infection rate. That worries everybody, so players going to a different environment, being exposed to different situations is always what worries more in this moment, not the fact that they’re going to play for their national teams or being managed by other coaches.
“That is normal and that is good for our players to go to national teams – the biggest worry is the infection rate increasing and being exposed to different environments, travelling and all these things.”
On training during the international break
“There were a lot of players from the under-23s involved, players that stayed here and were not involved with national teams.
“It’s a chance for them to work hard on small aspects that, when we get together as a team, they can help.
“We have two more training sessions, and after recovering all the players, Saturday is probably the first chance we have to be together as a squad and we will be training all aspects of what is a very difficult team in Southampton.”
On the links between heading a football and dementia
“It’s a problem, but scientifically, it doesn’t have enough stats that can correlate that heading the ball can cause you mental health problems.
“I’m aware of the problems, but heading is part of the game. Even in youth players, if you start not training that aspect of the game, it’s a problem and I don’t know how to deal with that.
“I think for us as professionals, it’s easier because the players know they have to train themselves, they have to prepare for set-pieces, for long balls, for heading the ball, jumping, so we don’t take that part away from the training sessions.”