Nuno Espirito Santo felt his Wolves side had belief to go on and win at the Etihad before falling to a trio of late Manchester City goals.
After Conor Coady’s first goal in almost three years for Wolves had got Nuno’s men back on level terms on Tuesday night, the head coach insisted his team were given a boost of confidence and attempted to take the game to their opponents, but were not able to sustain their pressure, and eventually succumbed to a quality City outfit.
On defeat at the Etihad
“First-half, we were organised but not able to recover the ball because of the quality and the talent of City. We were not threating at all in the first-half and City had a lot of possession.
“In the second-half, it was much better; more pressing, higher up the pitch, we recovered the ball better, we were much more compact, closer to each other and creating threats in our possession.
“The moment that we achieved the draw, and even before that and after that, we were in the game.
“The boys were competing well and we sustained the draw for a spell of the game, and felt that we could go and win.
“But as the game went by, we were not able to sustain that momentum and then we got punished by the quality of City’s players, but also some mistakes in the way we wanted to go out. But that’s the game.”
On the game plan
“It worked in some moments, it didn’t work in other moments. No plan is perfect and always has things to improve, and that is what we’ll try. But in terms of the attitude of the boys, we competed well.
“We could have done things different in different situations, but it’s all about finding what we feel are the solutions for the team. At half-time, we felt that we were in the game, so we went into the second-half on the front foot, and the attitude was really good.
“We faced a very good opponent who have very quality players and good lines of possession of the ball which makes your tasks harder. When City is on advantage, it’s more difficult, and we were able to face up to them, the boys did well until the draw, and then after that, not so much.
“The only sorrow is that we were not able to sustain longer this momentum of the game.”
On Coady’s equaliser giving confidence
“The belief was to go for the win, because in that moment, we were good in the game. The belief of our players and ourselves is to always go for your best.
“If you are losing, you have to draw and then you think about winning. This is how the game went, and we lost the game with a result, but the belief was to achieve another thing.
“Even before [the equaliser], we felt that we were on the front foot, but after we draw, the immediate reaction was that we didn’t sustain that momentum. The belief was to try and achieve a different result, but we faced a very good opponent.”
On falling to three late City goals
“When you are on the football pitch, what you transmit to the players is solutions and belief, and this is what we did. City did the same after we achieved the draw, and they reacted better than us.
“We wanted to sustain, but they were stronger. We must look at the game because we made a few mistakes in the way we went out and lost the ball.
“With the pressure of City, they are very dangerous when they recover the ball because they get you unbalanced and they punish you.”
On recovering ahead of this weekend
“It’s always disappointing when things don’t go so well, when we make mistakes, it’s always disappointing. But it’s a matter of work ahead of the next one because it’s going to be a tough one.
“We still have to find more answers because it’s a tough task in front of us.”