Nuno | 'We have to eliminate first-half pattern'

Nuno Espirito Santo has called on his Wolves players to eradicate their disappointing first-half performances after once again putting an improving second-half showing at Villa Park on Saturday evening.

With Villa being the latest team to get at Nuno’s side in the first period of their matches, before Wolves were able to get on top in the second-half, the head coach wants his players to stop the pattern they have fallen into and produce a 90-minute performance.

On a game of two halves

“First-half, we didn’t play well. Credit to Villa because they push long balls and the movement from their midfielders, McGinn and Sanson, were always trying to break our lines, and we didn’t adjust to that, and that gave Villa the dominance of the game.

“We pressed well, but we didn’t keep the ball too much, missed passes, not accurate enough and put wide, but the second-half was much better and we had chances.

“Everything changes in the second-half, it was very good. We were much more accurate and things that we missed in the first-half in our situations and our possession; easy passes, one or two metres, that we didn’t achieve, but we improved and the reaction was good.

“The second-half could have gone our way, but we have to analyse the first-half. But it was a thrilling game, it’s just these situations.”

On explaining Wolves’ second-half improvements

“Unfortunately no. It’s something that we have to think and reflect. The intentions are always good, we want to begin the game well, we want to keep the ball, we want to press, we want to have confidence, but we didn’t do it.

“Credit to Villa because they pushed hard in the first-half, with long balls, being quicker and getting at our back and giving us problems to do with that, but the second-half was better.”

On Conor Coady becoming a goalscoring threat

“Maybe it’s the surprise that the other teams don’t count for. We didn’t do it much often, it’s just something we didn’t do, but now, there’s no point in regretting it, he had good chances.

“He’s a player that every time he goes to the box he has this ability to read the line of the ball really well, but the honesty that I have with Conor, I think he should have done better.

“It was a very good header, it was very close, but he should have been more accurate.”

On needing more from Traore

“There’s a lot of aspects on his game, when he plays on the left, when he plays on the right, the way he receives the ball, but he’s a very talented player.

“Any time Adama had the ball, Villa were putting two or three players on him, it’s not easy. But the expectations are high because he’s very talented.

“We needed more from him, but we needed more from all the players. That was the message at half-time, we needed more energy, more aggressivity in a good way.

“We were losing duels and the Villa players were anticipating, but we reacted to it. The message was clear and there was a reaction from the players, so let’s try to keep the pattern of the second-half.”

On coming through a tough spell

“We’ve reacted well to the issues that we had; players out, not playing so good, making mistakes that punished us, but we are playing well. It was the realisation that we have to improve and the players did that.

“Individually, they improved themselves and we are trying to sustain our performance, because this pattern of the two halves, we have to eliminate from ourselves.

“There’s still a lot of football to be played and a lot of games, and our ambition will be the same, we will try to improve game after game.

“In the next one, what we ask from this game, let’s try to make it over the 90 minutes, because we still have this pattern of poor first-halves that we have to eradicate from ourselves and try to sustain a better performance.”