Nuno happy with his squad options

Nuno Espirito Santo welcomes his selection headache ahead of his side’s meeting with AFC Bournemouth on Wednesday evening as Molineux prepares to host Premier League football for the first time in three-and-a-half months.

Wolves got their league restart off to an almost perfect start with a comfortable win over West Ham United on Saturday afternoon, but the impact of substitutes Pedro Neto and Adama Traore has left the head coach with key decisions to make.

In his pre-match press conference, Nuno also spoke about a controversial ‘White Lives Matter’ banner which was flown over the Etihad Stadium at Manchester City’s match with Burnley on Monday night, as well as Raul Jimenez breaking Wolves’ Premier League single-season goal record, after notching his 14th of the campaign at the weekend.

On expecting a challenge from Bournemouth

“It’s a good team. I think it’s a team that plays good football, that has very good players, and Eddie is a fantastic manager.

“Everybody must understand that this [the Premier League] is a very tough competition, all the games are so tough and what’s happening to Bournemouth can happen to anyone.

“It’s a bad run and it’s very difficult to bounce back, but all the respect and admiration for Bournemouth. It’s an amazing team.”

On the Black Lives Matter campaign

“I saw it [the] and I think Burnley, the club, the staff and the players, have already condemned the banner and the situation that happened.

“But my personal view is that it makes me question if people are understanding the Black Lives Matter situation. They miss the point.

“Maybe there’s a confusion with the situation because it’s not about race; it’s about life. What we want to see is a respect for the next human being.

“As I’ve said before, I’m very hopeful that the next generations will understand because you have to feel it. It’s something that I’ve been seeing. It’s possible to feel it if you reconsider the way you see it. Let’s be hoping that at the end, everybody understands.

“Maybe the message is not getting through. That’s why I say it will take time, but for sure this is not the moment to not keep on going. We have to keep on going because it makes sense.”

Raul Jimenez breaks his own Premier League record! | Every Angle of his goal vs West Ham

On the impact of Traore and Neto coming off the bench

“Adama is a special player, he’s unique and I think he can have an impact [whether he starts or is a substitute]. When he’s on the pitch, he’s already having an impact on the game, of course he has things to improve.

“After that, it’s our decision when and how we use our team. We prepare the game, our game plan, our opponent, the momentum and the moment that we are out for three months without activity, we have a lot of things to judge on and try to make the right decisions.

“I think it’s the way Neto prepares. Not only him, but all the squad, during these three months of pandemic we’ve been away. They’ve been able to keep high intensity in the individual works before we joined as a group.

“I think the recipe is clear; hard work. That’s what enables you to perform well on the pitch. That’s what Pedro and all of the players have been doing.

“The way we prepare to compete is our philosophy, it’s our obsession to prepare every day to keep on improving yourself to be able to perform well. It’s all about that, prepare to compete and keep on sticking and believing and insisting on the way you do things.”

On squad selection difficulties due to performances of substitutes

“The same as all the games. We have a small squad, like I always insist, but it’s full of talent and quality.

“The idea is always the same, even if you don’t start, the way you can help the team can be fantastic. It’s more about your mindset and whether you’re prepared to take your chances when they come, and I’m happy to say we have a lot of options in this moment.”

On Jimenez’s record-breaking goal

“He’s important. His talent, his qualities, his work ethic, it’s amazing.

“I’m happy that he broke the club record, but I always say what I’m going to do, I’m challenging him and the team because we have eight games to go. He can improve it, so let’s go and try it.”