Nuno Espirito Santo knows he’s going to face a “unique style” when Leeds United come to town on Friday and is relishing the fresh challenge their opponents have brought to the Premier League.
The Yorkshiremen have received plaudits for the way they’ve performed back in the top flight this term, but Wolves know victory on Friday would lift them above their opponents and onto 33 points. If they’re to be triumphant, they’ll have to do it without a trio of key men, who are all progressing well, but before their return, Nuno is looking for further improvements across his team, after a second-half fightback at Southampton last weekend.
On Boly and Podence
“They are improving from their injuries. They started some rehabilitation training, but they are not available for this game. I cannot tell exactly how long, but they are improving and getting better.”
On Raul’s improvements
“He’s training most of the sessions individually. He’s been able to integrate in some parts of the beginning of training sessions, like boxes and some technical exercises, so he’s getting better. He’s improving really well, we have to be very careful and follow the protocols, but we’re keeping positive because he’s doing very well.
“We are delighted and happy. Missing him, but knowing he’s going in the right direction, making the right steps, and he’s recovering. He will keep improving his fitness, following the protocols, doing exams and consulting the neurosurgeon who operated on him – they’re the next steps. It requires patience, but at the same time, knowing that everything is going in a good direction.”
Un paso más en mi recuperación, trabajando fuerte y dando lo mejor de mi como siempre lo he hecho.— Raúl Jiménez (@Raul_Jimenez9) February 11, 2021
One more step in my recovery, working hard and giving all my best as I always do it. 💪🏼👍🏼🐺🔜 pic.twitter.com/XpAakvmBWW
On the need to improve more
“We are always trying to improve, trying to reach our best performances by playing good and being consistent, and working hard to achieve that. We are lacking a lot of things that we are trying to search for in games.
“We’ve been able to improve some aspects of our defensive organisation, but not yet the full perfection. There’s still a lot of mistakes that we make in games that we want to try to avoid.
“We cannot say when we’re going to reach our best because there’s never that best, always new things, things to improve, things that went bad and not so good, so our approach basically is improving match after match. That way will lead us to the higher standards we want to achieve.”
On Neto impressing again
“A lot of players are performing well, others not so well. What we want is to do improve all of our players so they can reach the best out of them. I’m very pleased [with Neto] because he’s always committed to the training sessions, committed to the games, committed to the process of learning and improving. His dedication makes me very pleased.
“In the game at Southampton all the team, if you regard the work the boys did, was fantastic. It’s very difficult to play against Southampton, always very tight games, and the boys gave a good answer, especially in the second-half.
“The way all the team engaged in the pressing and recovery of the ball was very good, so I was pleased with the full attitude of the team.”
On Leeds’ unique style
“Special and unique the way they approach the game. We’ve been able to see they have a fantastic squad and a special manager, Marcelo Bielsa is undoubtedly one of the greatest managers, and what we realise is they are very competitive – it will require the best of us.
“The tactical approach they have, man to man all over the pitch, it’s unique in the Premier League. It’s very difficult for all the opponents because, apart from what they do that is unique, they have talent and fitness. Besides that, a very talented squad.”
On Bielsa’s philosophy
“All the managers have their own unique philosophies. Since the Championship, me personally, I try to look at all the competitions I can, and I look a lot at the Championship because I know how hard it is.
“Getting promoted and maintaining the same philosophy is very good and I think he’s brought a new element to the Premier League that challenges all the opponents that Leeds face to try and find the best way to compete.”