Nuno | On Chorley preparations and avoiding expectations

As Wolves prepare to face sixth tier outfit and former FA Cup adversary Chorley in the fourth round of this year’s competition, Nuno Espirito Santo insists his players will approach the game in the same way as they do for their Premier League opposition.

The Lancashire club caused a major cup upset in 1986 when they beat Wolves, and Nuno will be aiming to avoid a similar result on Friday night when his team take to a Victory Park pitch, which will be unlike anything many of his players have ever experienced.

On Wolves’ first clash with Chorley for 35 years

“It will be the same approach, the same search for detail, the same preparation for the game, because the difference in divisions doesn’t assure you the game, so we have to compete and play.

“We have less games available because Chorley’s not competing. The last game they had was against Derby, and we analysed that game and took a good look at their team, the way they do things, and tomorrow we pass the info to the players in the meeting.

“The approach is exactly the same, no matter who you have in front, it’s about what you want to do in the game, how you want to compete and how ready you are to compete.”

On the clubs’ FA Cup history

“We don’t have to go much further behind, just recent history in football tells you that, especially in this competition, in the FA Cup, anything can happen, and we have to be aware of the responsibility we have in this tie.

“I’ve been in football enough time to be on both sides of this situation. I’m aware of what it means for Chorley and what it means for us.

“The expectation is the same as last week and the previous week and the game that is in front of us; it’s a game of football that we have to compete. Avoid any expectations from outside, just focus on the task that we have to do tomorrow against Chorley.”

We don’t have to go much further behind, just recent history in football tells you that, especially in this competition, in the FA Cup, anything can happen, and we have to be aware of the responsibility we have in this tie.
Nuno Espirito Santo

On bouncing back from derby defeat

“The next game is always the ideal opportunity to improve on what you did wrong before. It was not just another Premier League game, it was a tough moment, we all knew what it meant for all of us who are involved with Wolves, and we didn’t achieve it, so of course we were disappointed.

“I had the words that I had to do and have with our players, because it’s all about us, we’ve been reflecting on what we’re not doing so well and trying to bounce back so we can return to a better situation.

“My concern is as deep as the situation requires, but what it requires is that we improve and the only way that I know we can improve is by working harder, maintaining the unity and work together to improve our performances. There’s a responsibility that we have to improve, and we look forward to tomorrow.”

On lack of clean sheets

“We’re trying to find solutions. Since the beginning of everything, our shape, our consistency and trying to be as solid as possible has always been our foundation.

“We are not doing that, so that requires a bigger effort, trying to maintain our levels of focus throughout all the games, because we look at the games and situations that happened, especially in the beginning of the second halves and the end of the games, that really have really punished us.

“We need absolute awareness of our mistakes, because it’s our mistakes, the same as if we score, we score as a team, so it’s about us solving the problems, like we are doing. There was not even one day without hard work, without commitment and dedication because it’s the only way that you can improve; by working, not by speaking.”

On the pitch conditions at Victory Park

“We’re going to find a pitch that is not in the best conditions. We already had photos taken of the pitch and we know that the FA have made an effort to try and preserve the pitch by covering. We are aware of all that, but we don’t know the weather conditions. We cannot expect anything other than having a very difficult pitch to play football and we have to adapt to it.

“Because of the situations that we have, with some players out, some returning, and what is in front of us, we have to be aware of what we have and make the best decisions for the game. Like always, we’ll play the strongest squad that we can to compete well against Chorley.

“These are all the details that we look for the game. We are always trying and searching for the best decision regarding a player and the team. But we have to be aware of how the pitch is going to be, how the game is going to start, how it will develop if it’s raining and how the pitch is. We have all these in our minds, but always choosing the strongest team that we can do.”