Nuno Espirito Santo was proud of the display his Wolves players put together against Everton, despite falling to a narrow defeat in front of returning supporters at Goodison Park.
The head coach was delighted with the first-half display on Wednesday evening, praising the efforts of an ‘unstoppable’ Adama Traore, but lamented the concentration at the corner which gave the Toffees the only goal of the game.
But with fans back in the stadiums and Wolves set to host Manchester United in front of 4,500 supporters at Molineux on Sunday, Nuno believes it will be the best way to end what has been a very difficult season for him and his players.
On coming out the blocks strong
“It was a very good first-half. All the game was good, but the first-half was very good. We played very good football, we were dominant, we controlled very well, we pressed very well, we recovered the ball very well, we had good movements, good aggression, really good football, but we didn’t put the ball in the goal.
“We had chances, Pickford did good saves, but the first-half was very good. The goal changed the game. The set-piece, a corner, everything changes from that, but it was a good reaction from the boys, we finished the game on the front foot.
“We did a lot of good things, but it’s too bad that the concentration and the focus on the set-piece changed the game, but this is football.”
On conceding from another set-piece
“I’m angry as a manager when players don’t perform well, but today I’m not upset at all. I understand that it’s a set-piece that will need reviewing, but it’s about individual competencies in that moment.
“But I’m not upset with the boy because we have to reflect on all of the aspects of the game, and I’m proud of the boys.”
On looking at the positives
“There are a lot of positives in today’s game, and I’m very proud of them. The result, in this moment, is something that we have, but we don’t reflect on that, we reflect on the things we want to build on.
“Because of what we want, because we want to have all the players involved, having the ability to approach the game and control the game like we did in the first-half, changing system in the second-half, having control of the game and being versatile.
“Adama played amazing football today, he was unstoppable, Morgan, Fabio, Max all did a good game, so a lot of things; youth, the players who are going to the Euros, we are managing a lot of things, but I think today we are proud of ourselves because the attitude was amazing and the football was good.”
On building for the future
“We are trying to build this platform, and it’s always been our philosophy with each game, try to build for the next one.
“The season is ending, we have to reflect on a lot of things that happened, and we’re going to go for the last one with the players proud of themselves and try to give a good game for the fans.”
On the return of fans to Molineux on Sunday
“It’s the best thing that the game has, is fans back again, not in large numbers, but we can hear them, we can feel them. I’m happier than yesterday, even though I’ve lost the game – the game needs the fans.
“At Molineux it’s going to be our own fans, singing our own songs, and that’s the way to finish such a hard and difficult season. I’m looking forwards to it. It’s going to be a special moment for everybody.
“The last day is for us to be together. It was a terribly difficult season for everybody, so having things coming back to normal gives us hope for the future.
“The fans are back, and football is good again.”