Nuno Espirito Santo felt Wolves earned their own piece of luck in earning all three points against Leeds United on Friday night.
Adama Traore’s rocket off a shot from distance which cannoned off the crossbar and hit Leeds keeper Illan Meslier before tricking over the goalline was the difference in an evenly-fought contest at Molineux, but Nuno believed his side deserved the fortune they received.
On going four unbeaten in the top-flight
“It was a very tight game and a very intense game. Both teams were very active, and you just have to see the actions of the two goalkeepers to see how the game was.
“It was a tough game. I would not be fair by saying Leeds didn't deserve something from the game, but small details make a game. I’m very pleased by the approach that we had to the game, the attitude of the players, because it’s very difficult to play against Leeds and we gave a good fight.
“What I saw during the game was that both teams were very even and competitive. The players did good actions, very intense, and that’s the only approach that we can have against a team like Leeds. They are so good in the way they do things, but the boys competed very well, aggressive, recovering the balls, pressing, and a bit of talent made the difference.”
On his approach against Leeds
“Every game and every team in the Premier League has their own details. But what Leeds have is unique and challenges all the managers in the league. But in the end, I truly believe that in all the games we have to challenge ourselves because something new is going to happen and you have to face it.
“They have a unique approach to the game, but sometimes leads you to the same intensity in the duels and the boys did well. That’s the game of football, it’s your idea against your opponent’s idea and for some moments we were stronger, but Leeds also had chances and created real problems.
“We know how many goals Leeds have scored this season, and it required hard work in our defensive aspects, but that starts in the attack, with a press, not allowing many spaces, but even then, Leeds created us immense problems and good chances.
“It was a very good game of football. I am really pleased with the attitude of our players. The way we approached the game, the way we compete, so well done, but let’s keep on working.”
On having luck for the goal
“Players like Adama [Traore] and Pedro [Neto], when they are allowed to have the ball and start running, they are really dangerous. It was a beautiful strike. Of course, there’s luck in the moment, but it’s a beautiful strike of Adama.
“It is a hard moment for the goalkeeper, but he did very well, he made a fantastic save in the first-half. Both goalkeepers were really active in the game, so that shows the intensity of the match.
“It’s a beautiful strike, and of course there’s luck when the ball came back off the crossbar, but we have to deserve that luck and the strike of Adama is beautiful. He’s a unique player and we expect great things from him.
“Melier and Rui Patricio were very active today, with some very good actions in the first-half and the second-half, so I'm looking at a game when the goalkeeper has so many actions, it means it's a very active and competitive game.”
On Leeds’ threat from set-pieces
“That’s one detail inside of the plan that didn’t work out. We had problems on that and is something we have to improve and something to work on.
“We still have a lot of details that we still have to improve. Like today, with set-pieces, so it was not a perfect performance.
“We allowed too many first contacts and we must look at that, but Rui did his job and he kept his clean sheet. That's always good for us as a team.”
Rui. Patricio. pic.twitter.com/KU8zmI5ix3— Wolves (@Wolves) February 19, 2021
On improving in recent performances
“I’m very pleased with the way we approach and the way that we realised that we are not the best of our performances and we have to chase. It’s all about the approach that we have and the way you commit to prepare the game, and then challenge yourself during the competition.
“We've been working hard in chasing better performances, and the players are very committed. We find ourselves in a good moment, but now, the expectations and responsibilities are high, so we must keep these high standards.
“The approach that we have during these tough moments; always believing, always committing, you can't say anything about the attitude of the players.
“Sometimes things don’t work out, but we be comprehensive and understand the moment, but we chase the highest standards that we have, so let’s keep on chasing and working hard.”