The performance against Aston Villa was the most pleasing aspect of Sunday afternoon for Nuno Espirito Santo.
Wolves were rewarded for their fantastic display with three points against Villa, thanks to fine team goals finished off by Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez. Victory lifted the hosts into the top-half, but it was the application and performance of his players which made Nuno most proud post-match.
On the win
“The most important was the performance. We dominated, the first-half was very good play. We played really, really well. We achieved a goal late, we had a lot of chances, breaking on the counter, we had clear moments where we could harm Villa.
“Second-half Villa took more control of the game, created some problems, we had to adjust, but the better chances we had, just waiting for the moment to really be clinical and achieve that second goal that allows you to manage better the game late.
“I have to see their goal, I don’t know what really happened, so if there was one thing bad, that was the moment.”
On the opening goal
“It was very nice. Every time the ball goes inside, I’m very happy. We work on a lot of things, but the credit is for the players that execute it. The pass, the precision, it was a good moment.”
On handling Villa’s pressure
“They changed, adjusted to a 4-4-2, created a lot of problems, the full-backs didn’t allow us to press so high. They kept the shape and created problems, the players can unbalance you, but every time we recovered, we had a chance to break.
“If we produce so many moments of that, we have to be clinical because that’s what defines a moment of the game and puts the game to bed. You get worried, but the team stuck to the shape, to the task. The second goal is big for Villa to react.”
On needing to be clinical
“It’s not about scoring more, it’s finishing the action in the right moments. OK, the goalkeeper can save it, but we have to finish the actions in that moment that we break, the last pass, to allow you to have the final touch and be clinical.”
On the international weekend
“I have a lot of players with their national team. I congratulate them, I’m very happy that they go to national team, but I’m very worried that they come back healthy.
“The group, not on the players, the staff deserve credit, it’s the 24th game and it says a lot, the way we finished, always on top and running, I’m proud of the boys.
“We are ready. We’re going to stay here but a lot of players go. We work with who stays, the young boys, the back-ups of the under-23s, there’s a lot of work to be done.”