Nuno Espirito Santo provided an update on Marcal, Daniel Podence and Raul Jimenez, as he prepares his group for the trip to Chorley in the Emirates FA Cup.
Although the trio won’t be available for the cup tie, the head coach was able to shed some light on their progress, with Podence easing closer to a first-team return. However, before then, Wolves have the task of overcoming sixth tier Chorley, where Nuno expects difficult January conditions, but he won’t be looking for excuses come kick-off, where he’ll demand complete professionalism.
On Podence and Marcal’s injuries
“They will not be available [for Chorley]. Marcal is inside, in the gym, he had an operation and needs some more time. Daniel is starting the outside work with Joao Lapa and is getting back his level of fitness, how he reacts to the training sessions, so progressively he’ll be joining us.
“First, he [Marcal] has to be free of pain, then we will start integrating and getting his fitness levels again. There will be some more weeks in front of him yet. It was in the game against Tottenham, he had a slip on his left leg, he felt a really strong pain in the abdominal area, so that required treatment and an operation to solve the problem.”
On Jimenez’s continued progress
“He’s started jogging, he’s improving. He’s now doing receptive work. He’s already started some physical work in the gym, on the treadmill and running, so he’s improving and getting better. We cannot put a time. Hopefully things just keep improving and he can re-join the group soon.”
On dealing with the conditions at Chorley
“We are ready. We know that we have to adapt and when we arrive on the pitch we’ll take a look, the warm up for the players will be very important in terms of a quick adaptation to the pitch, so we’ll make decisions based on the pitch, but that cannot be our main focus.
“We have to focus on Chorley. They are a competitive team, of course they are in the lower divisions, but we have to be competitive and we have to be ready. It will not be an excuse. We have to compete on the pitch, the referee will be there to judge if the pitch is suitable or could endanger or cause a serious injury, but that is not my decision.
“I can have an opinion on it, but my focus is getting the players ready to compete, no matter what pitch we have, the moment Anthony Taylor whistles, we have to go.”
On the importance of experienced players
“It’s always important to have experienced players. I always advocate for experience and youth at the same time – this balance is the way we approach things. Having experiences players on the pitch is always helpful, as long as they do their tasks and perform well.”
Working the keepers.— Wolves (@Wolves) January 21, 2021
On having no fans at the cup tie
“The absence of fans doesn’t help anyone in football. We want to have the fans of all teams back in football again. If we’d have had fans last week [against West Brom], it would’ve been different and the weeks before, for sure. What we want is fans in every stadium.”
On Scott Sellars’ promotion
“He’s been good. We’ve been working with Scott since we arrived. Previously he was the manager of the uner-23s, so we immediately started working and operating together. Now, he has a new role and I’m delighted because my relationship with him is very good.
“He’s someone that knows Wolves and knows the game. I’m delighted that we are working together. I really appreciate and admire Scott. We’ve always had experienced people, having people that can transmit to you things that can help is always good, as long as you’re ready to listen, like I am.”