Nuno Espirito Santo insists that last season’s meetings with Watford will bear no impact on how his Wolves side will approach the fixture at Molineux on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams enjoyed several battles as they pushed for seventh spot in the Premier League as well as a place in the FA Cup final during a tightly fought campaign, and with the start the teams have had to the current league season, the head coach believes that both teams will be looking to raise their standards this weekend.
On another tough test against Watford
“Tomorrow is a tough challenge again. We’ve had so many games already this season, it’s always been very difficult games for us as we try to compete in every one of them, so tomorrow is a tough challenge and again we have to go and be ready for it because every game is a chance to improve, to perform good and try to play a good game.
“Watford are a very difficult team, a good team with good players, now with Quique [Sanchez Flores] taking charge of them – a very good manager; so we expect a tough game, players that know each other very well, and they’ve proved that they’re a tough, tough opponent for us.
“[Me and Quique] have been around a while now and know each other well, but it’s not only me, a lot of football knows him very well. Quique is a fantastic manager and has done very good jobs around the world.”
On his opponent’s heavy defeat to Man City
“In the Premier League, anything can happen. Last week was difficult, and it’s going to be again.
“For us, it’s about analysing all the games that they have so we can take important information to pass to the players. Not only in this game against City, and this week against Swansea, but all their previous games are a good opportunity for us to analyse and to take information from Watford in this case.
“I’ve had results like that and everyone in football has had good moments and bad moments. It’s up and downs, and you have to be ready to bounce back again. For us, it’s also a time to raise our standards.
“The Premier League is a tough competition and all the teams are very, very good, and it’s tough. It’s tough to compete and what we did in the past doesn’t mean anything. You have to challenge yourself again in the present, so we can build a better future.”
On resting Conor Coady for first time in 78 matches
“He understands it, we made decisions for the [Reading] game, Coady was not in the team, he was on the bench. This is normal. He has to be like that, I think all the players understand the situation we are in and the challenge that we want to embrace.
“Everybody is ready for the decisions and to react immediately and be an option for the next game. Coady did that, so he’s available for tomorrow.”
On young players’ performances against Reading
“It’s not only about what we see in the games, it’s about what you see in the under-23s, when they work together, when they compete with the under-23s, when they train with us – it’s based on that.
“Nobody has to prove to me anything. What we want is options, options to make us already strong for all the games that we have ahead of us. Nobody has to prove nothing to me or to anybody. They just have to compete and do all the things they always do every day.”
On Joao Moutinho’s playing future
“I cannot anticipate the future, but in this moment, Joao is doing well. He competes like every member of the squad, and age is not a reflex based on decisions. Young boys, experienced players; everybody’s ready.
“Joao is a case that he treats himself well, he respects, he trains very hard, so he’s already to compete. How long? I hope a long, long time he can be around football because he’s a top professional.”
On worries over players’ discipline
“No absolutely not. What we do is we speak to the player, we see what is going on, what was the reason for this double yellow card, what was the moment, and if he could take another approach and make a different decision.
“This is the work that we do. Hopefully, they will not repeat the same mistakes again.”