As football prepares to enter a weekend of silence on social media, Nuno Espirito Santo had backed the movement, which he hopes will pave the way for a better future.
Wolves have joined the boycott to protest against discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football, which Nuno agrees is a positive step. While the boycott takes place, the head coach is preparing his players for a Black Country derby with West Bromwich Albion – a challenge he’s relishing, particularly as it provides an opportunity to put things right after last week’s loss to Burnley.
On the social media blackout
“I think it’s something that everybody has to address, especially the companies, with stronger measures, trying to ban indefinitely people that abuse on social media and stop them using it again. I think it’s a good measure, I hope everybody engages with it and we slowly solve the problem.
“It will take time. At the same time, I don’t like to say many things because I think we are also taking a big risk with regards our freedom, because not everybody on social media uses it bad. You have to balance, because we can’t compromise our freedom also.
“At this moment, I think it’s a good measure and if you ask me, eventually will we have to repeat it again? Probably so, because things take time, for people to understand the right message. It’s the same situation as the knee. It had an impact in the beginning, slowly it becomes something normal, but I think we should persist and repeat our intentions through messages.”
Enough is enough.#StopOnlineAbuse— Wolves (@Wolves) April 30, 2021
On reacting to last week’s loss
“It’s something that we didn’t expect to happen, such a bad performance. Disappointed. We played very bad, so we have to reflect, analyse and speak about it, knowing that we have to change, especially the way we play. We have to play better, be more focused, we cannot make so many mistakes because it was terrible.
“Everybody felt it. Everybody that was in the game felt that we didn’t do things as we should. So, I saw on everybody the frustration and disappointment, and at the same time it’s about reacting and facing, and moving forward. This is what we’ve done this week, tried to move forward.
“The week has been good, we’ve been working hard, committed, we have two sessions to go to prepare the game. Then, the game will dictate how we are and what we have done. The approach has been exactly the same, preparing for the game in as much detail as we can, and trying to find a better solution and decision for the team.”
On a fresh challenge in the derby
“There’s always a next challenge, which gives you the chance to improve. We play West Brom, it means a lot to us, it means a lot to our fans. We’re going to compete.
“It’s a derby, it’s a different game. West Brom have a good squad, a good manager, they put a lot of problems and questions to us. It’s about us competing much better than we did and hopefully the right way, because I believe our players can do it.
“We are highly motivated for every moment that we have to compete. Then, the competition addresses the momentum that we are. Motivation, commitment, dedication and a will to do well is every day with us.
“It means a lot to us. We wish we could go with everybody, all the squad, all the fans, because together we are stronger. That’s not what we’re going to find on Monday. It has to be ourselves. Fight over and over again, action after action, all the balls we have to fight for.”
On searching for consistency
“I would love it, but that’s not the reality. We face problems. There was a moment not long ago when we’ve been able to stabilise the team. Repeat the starting 11 many times in a row and you see the team improved because it’s the way I think it should be.
“When you have game after game, the same players getting complicities, getting to know themselves better, the team improves. But it didn’t happen, it’s circumstances and the squad we have to manage. Of course, I’d like to find myself in a different situation, and everybody in a different situation, but it’s the reality. We have to grow.
“We have options, that’s more important, not thinking about all the players that are out, let’s try to focus, like I’m doing now, because we have two training sessions to prepare the game. Of course, the team is going to be different and it’s up to us to decide, and the players to compete, play and show their qualities.”