Nuno | On bouncing back, injuries, transfers and Fulham

Nuno Espirito Santo insists his players have been hard at work in training this week as they aim to put last week’s disappointing performance at West Ham behind them.

Wolves host Scott Parker’s Fulham at Molineux on Sunday afternoon, and the head coach knows there is plenty to improve on heading into just the fourth match of the 2020/21 Premier League season, where there will be late fitness tests for two of the squad who missed the defeat in east London; Daniel Podence and Marcal.

On bouncing back from West Ham disappointment

“We learnt a lot of things. We didn’t perform well. West Ham were better organised than us. We didn’t defend well as a team, we made mistakes that punished us.

“Unfortunately, I think we’ve played a lot of times bad, more than any of us would want. But it’s about sustaining our performances.

“We played well in the first game, despite not a lot of training, but what we want to achieve is a moment that we are able to sustain our performance after performance; to avoid ups and downs.

“Knowing that ups and downs happen, but it’s how fast you react from those which is important. That was the focus we had from this week – let’s bounce back from our previous game.

“There are a lot of things we need to improve on for Sunday – more focus, better on duels. West Ham were sharper than us, were faster than us, faster on the duels and the second balls, we were not able to be creative and we defended bad.”

On working hard in training

“We still have one session to go and we need to work very hard. For many situations we have to work hard regarding the last performance.

“The moment of the season that we’re in, knowing that after is going to be an international break. This week was very important for us.”

On Fulham’s return to the Premier League

“It’s difficult to compare [Wolves and Fulham], it’s two different situations. We got promoted in the same season and were able to establish ourselves, Fulham didn’t achieve that, but bounced back immediately after.

“They are back and what I see now is a good team, good players and it’ll require a lot from us.

“Scott did amazing last season with the way he prepared his team and he’s in the process. Everybody has to learn and fast. This is the job of the manager. We are focused on us because we have enough troubles – problems to solve.

“I think all managers have struggled this new season, but you can see the difference between teams that had more or less time, now you can see that is evident, but what I see from Fulham is a group of talented players.”

On approaching the match

“We have to play the game like we always do. It’s another game in front of us a new challenge. We have to perform, play good, and the players must improve.

“Honestly, it’s been different for everybody and it’ll require more work because we have less time. My job mainly this week is to improve the performance and level of players.”

As long as it's is open, you have to know anything can happen. We need to react and we know on the last day things move, but we’re not anticipating anything, but always knowing anything can happen.
Nuno on the transfer window

On Jonny’s recovery from injury

“We have some issues still to attend. Players that are recovering, players that had knocks in the previous games, so we still have tomorrow to determine who is going to be in the squad.

“Jonny is doing well. He never quite stopped in terms of muscular work that he has to do, to avoid decompensating both legs.

“He’s been working very hard and is doing OK, but these things take a lot of time, so it’s about being patient, doing the right things, not rushing, because a mistake in this moment of rehabilitation can delay his return and what we want is Jonny to come back as soon as possible.”

On Wolves’ transfer business

“As long as the transfer window is open, you have to know anything can happen. We need to react and we know on the last day things move, but we’re not anticipating anything, but always knowing anything can happen.

“I am happy with what we’ve done. We’ve been able to react well and we’ve been able to bring players in that we think can bring us different things.

“At the same time, we’re still in the process. It’s not finished. When it’s finished, then we can do a proper analysis.

“I’ll be glad when it’s finished. I think all the managers have been asking when the start the competition that the transfer window can be closed. Due to the pandemic everything has changed, so it’s not good for all the managers.”