Nuno | On Marcal, Covid tests and Leeds

Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed Marcal is back training ahead of Wolves’ Premier League trip to Leeds United on Monday evening.

The Brazilian has missed the last two matches in the Premier League, but with a weekend without a game, appears to be nearing a return. He’s joined a group undertaking stringent Covid-19 tests, and one looking to build on victory last time out against Fulham, before the international weekend.

On Marcal’s fitness

“We have players that came from national teams with problems that we have to deal with, assess and manage.

“Fortunately, players that were here, like Marcal, are starting with the team already, the first sessions with the team. It’s about trying to balance everybody so that we can have a full squad in these moments.”

On Covid tests upon returning

“We were tested on Friday, and for the players who were arriving, we have a new system of testing. It allowed us not to make mistakes when the players came back from their national teams. So, when they join the group, they have previously been tested here at Compton.

“Now, let’s wait for the results. We’re still waiting but, for now, everybody is healthy. We were worried about everybody that was involved in national teams, changing environment.

“In the national team of Portugal, there were cases. But, our players were tested I’m positive Portugal’s medical team made all the measures and took the care necessary to avoid contact more than they should.

“We have to realise there is an increase in infection rates all over the world and it will affect everybody. We’ve had our results now it’s more time, probably Sunday morning, we will have the final results.”

On the win last time out

“It was important to perform better than the previous game. This is how we work and how we believe we should do things.

“We improved some aspects of the game, not all, so we're trying to prepare the players better so they can raise their standards and that the level of performance is more of what we expect.”

On the versatility of Romain Saiss

“He's always been a very versatile player. He mainly played in midfield in the Championship, has played centre-back and left-back. It's very useful to have a player like Saiss. He's competitive every day. I'm delighted to count on Romain.”

On the threat of Leeds threats

“They're a very good team, very aggressive in all their actions – offensively and defensively.

“It's a good group of players with a fantastic manager. Very aggressive and dynamic, physical, so we expect a tough challenge. It's what we know from Marcelo Bielsa, a special way of coaching teams to be dynamic.”

On playing without supporters

“When you live in a pandemic situation, it's very hard, no matter which profession you have as you live with fear. When you live with fear, you are not being yourself, so it's about knowing and realising what's happening and how it affects the game.

“The absence of fans, when you are changing the atmosphere you are clearly changing the performance and the actions of the players. It's why strange things are happening. I don't have a clear answer, but it's about trying to deal with the disruption that comes along.

“It's very difficult for everybody. It impacts the game and hugely on the players.”