Nuno Espirito Santo knows Wolves still have plenty of areas to improve on despite getting back to winning ways in the Premier League on Tuesday evening against Arsenal.
The Wolves head coach has acknowledged the first-half performance during their midweek win over the Gunners displayed problems that still need to be solved before high-flying Leicester City arrive at Molineux on Sunday.
On analysing a game of two halves
“It was very important for us. It was a different game and it was a strange game to make a proper evaluation because of the strange circumstances and the red cards.
“In the first-half, we struggled and we had problems, so that shows us that we still have a lot of things to improve, but fortunately, we were able to take the game. The confidence and the mood is better, the approach of the game was better, the problems are still there for us to solve, and this is what we’ll try on Sunday.
“We have to analyse it and then realise what we have, what’s happening to us, the players that we have, that players who are out, the players who are going to be out, the players who will be coming in – all these things are what we have to decide now.
“It’s totally different from our normal routines, but we are in the process of trying to improve our players, this is our main objective. When you realise that individually, we have to improve our players, then the improvement of the team will come naturally.”
On possibly facing a Leicester team with Jamie Vardy
“We have to wait and see, but we are talking about a very talented player. Jamie Vardy has shown himself through the years how dangerous he is, and we will have to be very focused to try to eliminate [his threat].
“But Leicester is much more than just Jamie Vardy. The way Leicester play, the dynamics they have on the squad, that’s what makes them a very good squad and a very tough team to play against.
“They have a very talented squad, a very good manager and they are playing very good football consistently through time and Brendan [Rodgers] doing a fantastic job.
“He’s amazing. I have a true admiration for Brendan and it will be a pleasure to be with him, so Sunday’s going to be very tough for us, but we want to compete. Let’s try and do it.”
N U N O 🐺 pic.twitter.com/H7MVF5Xupp— Wolves (@Wolves) February 4, 2021
On the introduction of concussion substitutes after Jimenez injury
“It was obvious that the substitution due to concussion has to come. Yesterday, there was a meeting, it’s going to be introduced this weekend in the Premier League.
“I truly hope it doesn’t mean anything and we don’t have to use it, but it’s for the welfare of the players, so it’s welcome and needed.
“Raul is now here with us every day. He has his meal with us, and just having Raul around after what happened is very pleasing. We are confident that he will play again, so we will give him time, but he will come back to help us again.”
On needing goals from across the team
“[Willian Jose] has already had an impact, an immediate impact on the team. We needed to have one more option alongside Fabio, and Willian is a really talented player.
“We are in the process of trying to engage him on the idea of the team, the organisation and a better knowledge of his teammates, and we are trying to speed that up. Every training session is a good moment to do it and Willian is putting everything that he has on his part, and we are very pleased with that.
“But all of the goals from all parts of the team are necessary. All the goals are welcome. [Joao Moutinho’s confidence] can only get better because it was a fantastic goal, a beautiful goal, and I’m delighted.”
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On switching his mind off during a difficult period
“I do a lot of things, but I’m never able to disconnect from football. This is the problem. You try as hard as you can, but it’s always there.
“It’s been very difficult, but we will do it because there’s a big hope that everything will come back to normal, so that’s what keeps us going. My spirits are like that – every day is a new day.
“It’s been difficult for all of us, for all the teams, we’ve all been having major problems and it’s been a very hard season for all the teams, for players, managers and clubs due to the pandemic and due to the circumstances that have happened.
“We cannot ignore that it directly affects us on a daily basis in terms of preparation, so it’s been very intense and very difficult. But it’s always a challenge for us managers to overcome the problems that we have to face.”