The way his players committed to their game plan and executed it so impressively made Nuno Espirito Santo proud on Wednesday evening.
Wolves went to Chelsea with a clear plan, to remain compact, organised and together, and when given the opportunity, spring into counter attack mode. The result was a resolute performance, which was rewarded with a first Premier League clean sheet since October and a point to build on, as Wolves’ spirit stone brightly in West London.
On the clean sheet returning
“I’m proud and the boys are proud also, because everything starts from there. Today, we were a compact team, organised, with bodies in front of the ball, doing everything we can to prevent a goal of Chelsea.
“We closed the pockets, the lines of the ball were always covered, players under pressure, we did well. The positive is a clean sheet and I’m happy with the way the players committed to the idea.
“Chelsea had the ball, but we were in shape and in the end, it required throwing bodies in front of the ball. This is what it’s all about, to defend, to keep a clean sheet. Of course, there are many things we have to look at, but I’m happy with the way the boys were organised and always in the game. Compact, a unit, helping each other, that’s the spirit.”
On improving in the final third
“We had a couple of chances, but the game is more than that. The ball from Pedro [Neto] and situation of Leander [Dendoncker], that will come, because the commitment is there, the belief is there. This is a starting point.
“We missed a lot of things, we are aware of what’s happening to us, but we’re positive that as time goes by, and players come back, we must work hard. We have a tough cycle in front of us, but having more players means more solutions and it’s better for the team.”
Big team effort.— Wolves (@Wolves) January 27, 2021
On handing Jose a debut
“We have Willian [Jose], Fabio [Silva] and Patrick [Cutrone]. We decided today to put Willian on because we were under pressure and it required someone to hold the ball and stay with it.
“It’s up to us to decide the right moment to use them. He has different characteristics to Fabio and Patrick. Knowing Willian, holding the ball, a big presence, leading the line was important.”
On not being fazed by Chelsea
“It was about us. We knew that no matter what manager was at Chelsea, the squad is very talented, full of quality players, and it required a big commitment from us. We recognised that we didn’t have too much of the ball, but that was what the game asked, and the boys did well.”
On recovering quickly
“It’s important to recover and get players back. We have players out that are returning slowly, the more options we have, the better because we have more solutions.
“Now, let’s recover and prepare for Palace because it’s going to be a tough one, like all Premier League games.”