Romain Saiss believes Wolves have had a very successful summer of incomings having brought a good balance of experience and youth into the first-team squad.
The second longest-serving player currently in Nuno Espirito Santo’s team has been helping the new recruits settle into their new life at the club, during what has been a period of transition at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
But with back-to-back top-flight wins, and having accrued more points than Wolves have ever had before after their first five Premier League matches, the Moroccan national team captain insists the squad is full of confidence ahead of welcoming Newcastle United to Molineux on Sunday afternoon.
On Wolves’ start to the new season
“In terms of points, we are better than last season. Of course, we lost two games in a row, it was not good because we didn’t play very well, but after that, the coach said that this is a new situation for all the team.
“It was a short preparation for the team at the start of the season, so it made us stronger because we knew it would be tough. But now, we’ve won the last two games, so we are now more confident, and we just want to keep going and keep winning games.”
On the test posed by Newcastle
“They are a team who leave the ball for the opponent, they don’t want to play a lot, and after it’s up to us to find a solution to move this block and be aware of the counter-attack, because they have players who are fast in front.
“We’ve started working on that already and will try to do everything to win this game because we want to win all the games. It doesn’t matter the opponent, so it’s up to us to find the solution to move them and create space to win this game.”
On being part of a family at Wolves
“It helps the team when you have a lot of players from different countries, who speak different languages, our players speak French, Portuguese, Spanish, English, but we are all together.
“We spend our time together every day and I’ve said it in the past, but I think I spend more time with my teammates than I do with my family!
“It’s a good thing, and we can learn about each culture also, and we can see now after all these years together what we are doing as a team, and the strength of the team.”
On helping new players learn English
“My English isn’t bad now, when I first came it was really basic, but now it’s ok after four years here at Wolves. We’re just practicing it every day, and that’s the best way to learn English.
“I’ve tried to help out one of the new boys, Rayan Ait-Nouri, because I know it’s difficult because he doesn’t speak a lot of English. It’s a new country for him, he’s young, and I want to help him, but if you practice English day after day you will see in a couple of months that it will not be bad.”
On new arrivals integrating into the club
“We brought in a lot of good players, players with experience like Marcal and Semedo, of course he played for one of the best clubs in the world, and had a lot of experience in the Champions League, but also we brought it a lot of young talent, like Rayan, Fabio Silva and Vitinha, so I think it’s a good mix for us.
“But first of all, they are fantastic people ahead of being great footballers, which I think is the most important thing – the person that they are, and they are totally inside the team now. It was easy for us to bring them into our pack.”
On his upbringing shaping him as a person
“Where I come from, my family ran a restaurant and they would work until one or 2am every day cleaning dishes and clearing up after people, and I would help out to earn a bit of money to put petrol in my car to go to training, but this is the real life.
“We know as footballers that we have a lot given to us, even if sometimes it’s hard, in real life it’s even harder. It could be tough every day, like it is in this moment of the pandemic, it’s hard for all the people working in the pubs or the restaurants, so for me as a person, I learned a lot and it helped me to be who I am today.”