Nuno | 'We must react as a squad' against Fulham

Nuno Espirito Santo has urged his Wolves players to react from Monday’s defeat as a group, rather than individuals, as they travel to south London to take on Fulham tomorrow evening.

The head coach, who acknowledged he would once again be without Willy Boly, who can rejoin the squad on Tuesday following his Covid-19 self-isolation, as well as long-term absentee Jonny for their latest Premier League clash, admitted that the criticism the team received for their defensive display earlier in the week ‘hurt’, but focus immediately turned to Fulham and the goal of reaching the high standards the whole squad set for themselves.

On reacting to West Ham defeat

“It hurts, especially because we didn’t perform as we would want. The people that suffered the most is us as a group.

“It must be a group reaction, not individually. We must react ourselves, react and bounce back from a bad performance. Not as individuals, but as a squad, and compete the best that we can to the highest standards that we can until the last moments of the season.

We are always concerned when we don’t achieve what we want from our team and our players. That is our main concern and this is what we are focused on so we play well and we compete well tomorrow against Fulham. This is our main concern.

“You have to focus game by game. Tomorrow, it’s Fulham, then we think about the next one. All our energy now is focused on the one of tomorrow.”

On the challenge of Fulham

“We have analysed all their aspects and Fulham is a good team. It’s a good team, has good players, so it’s going to be a very tough game for us.

“We know that each and every match of the Premier League is tough, so we must prepare ourselves to compete tomorrow against a very good team.

“But we are totally focused on ourselves. We know we are going to face Fulham, but before we face Fulham, we are totally thinking of ourselves, our team and our players. What we want from the game tomorrow against Fulham, but first, we look at ourselves.”

On deciding on his system for Fulham

“We still have to decide. We took the analysis from the game and there were positive things, not so good things and negative things, obviously. We know we must find the balance between the two shapes that can allow us to compete better and we are positive we’re going to achieve it.

“There are lots of things that we have to consider. The players that are out, the players that we have, how they are, what we expect from them, their tasks; it’s about analysing the squad and the best way to approach each and every game.”

On improving their slow starts

“By passing the right info and try to focus from the beginning of the game. It’s been a problem we have been facing during the season, that we think we managed well previously, but again, against West Ham, it was a repetition of many game that we were not able to score first, to always concede.

“Let’s try to find the balance. It’s not easy. If we knew the solution for sure, we would do it before.

“It’s a matter of each game, improving our approach at the beginning, knowing tomorrow, Fulham is going to start strong and fast and we must equal them.”

On Jonny’s ACL injury

“He’s still being assessed and deciding when he’ll go in for the surgery. He definitely needs the surgery and that’s the most important part.

“We need to make sure Jonny’s strong, confident, and has no doubts in his head. It’s a tough period for us and particularly for the player, because he will need to restore his trust before he can join us after the surgery.

“But the process before, during and after the surgery, it’s very important that he’s confident and trust that he’s going to return.

“It’s a big impact on him. But he’s a strong boy. It’s very serious, and he’s very aware of what happened to him can happen to any player and he’s confident because he recovered well from the first one, and he’s confident he’s going to recover from the second one.”

On Wolves Women’s returning with a win

“It’s important for all the teams around the club [to be successful]. The women’s team has faced two stoppages during the pandemic, but they have been able to go back now, they are working in Compton, and we wish them all the best against Watford.

“Every time they have been competing in the league, they have been leaders, and they’ve shown their quality, so it’s good news inside the club.”