Nuno: Losing focus after free-kick decision was costly

Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves’ season is not finished after completing another Premier League campaign in seventh position following a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Wolves will now be relying on their opponents from Sunday afternoon to beat Arsenal in next weekend’s FA Cup final to secure back-to-back Europa League qualifying spots after Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud goals just before half-time stuck a blow to the old gold hopes of ending their league season in sixth place.

But the head coach says Wolves’ focus will be solely on their upcoming Europa League last 16 tie with Olympiacos at Molineux on 6th August, with the eventual winners of that competition guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League.

On a double blow before half-time

“We started the game well. I think until the free-kick, we were in the game, we were organised, we were playing good, but after that we lost focus.

“We started focusing on what we should not do – but our focus was on that decision, and all the team react to a bad decision of the referee and started to focus more on the referee than the moment of the game.

“Maybe that’s why we conceded the second goal, because we were not focused and concentrated enough on the goal of Chelsea.”

On trying to get back in the game

“We knew that one goal can change everything. The game was hard for us. Chelsea, with their advantage, became more pressing and more aggressive, and we were not able to break out of that pressure by playing.

“That’s what the idea of the subs [was for], we had to manage this, we had to change, because we knew that one goal could change the outcome of the game, and we wanted to go for it.”

We have to focus on our own game. The season is not finished yet. It’s not over for us yet. We have 10 days to prepare a game.
Nuno Espirito Santo

On disappointment at not hurting Chelsea

“Of course. That was our idea, but sometimes how we want, and the things that we want to do, we are not able to because of mistakes. I think we had a lot of mistakes when we had the ball in our possession, we lose the ball, and it’s hard.

“But it’s not about the opponents, it’s about some days you play better, some days you do things betters, some days you don’t.

“We respect the opponents, knowing that it’s always going to be hard. Sometimes they don’t allow you to play and sometimes you don’t do things well.

“Today was one of those days. I think we should have played better.”

On FA Cup final deciding remaining Europa League spot

“We have to focus on our own game. The season is not finished yet. It’s not over for us yet. We have 10 days to prepare a game.

“The draw against Olympiacos is what we have to focus on. We have to play a good game, because that is important. It’s going to be very hard for us next Thursday because Olympiacos are a good team.

“This is what we have to focus on. What happens [in the FA Cup final] happens, but we should do things so we deserve it.”