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We must keep focused on Torino test, demands Wolves boss


No distractions: Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo
No distractions: Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo

By Nick Mashiter

Boss Nuno Espirito Santo has warned his Wolves players to forget about the Europa League group stage.

They host Torino in their play-off second leg today with the winners qualifying for the group stage.

Wolves hold a 3-2 lead after victory in Turin last week and with the Europa League draw made tomorrow, Nuno is eager for his men to focus and get their name in the hat first

He said: "They look at the game of tomorrow, not further ahead, just think about tomorrow.

"It's a new game, the result (in Torino) doesn't mean anything. It starts from zero again and that's how we approach it.

"We are really embracing all the games, we want to compete. They want to play, they want to raise their game, improve and play. This is what football is all about - to play.

"We want to play well against a very tough opponent. They have quality players. We need to take care, know there will be weaknesses or advantages for them. It's a new game, play it."

Nuno is expected to make some changes from Sunday's last-gasp 1-1 Premier League draw with Burnley which maintained Wolves' unbeaten start to the season.

Jesus Vallejo may return in defence, while Ruben Vinagre, Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traore are options for the manager to bring in having missed the game at Molineux.

He said: "This is what we believe, the players know it's a small squad and everyone has to prepare for their chance and their moment.

"All the players have been involved in all the games so far but the season is only just starting and we have a lot of things to improve on."

The match will be Wolves' ninth of the season already but they remain unbeaten so far and have looked at home in the Europa League, winning all five qualifying matches - including two against Belfast side Crusaders - and scoring 17 goals.

"It's been good," Nuno said. "For all the club it's a new experience, I think we prepared well and the way we've dealt with the travelling has been fantastic.

"It has to do with the preparation we decided to take, we knew we had to start earlier and travel a lot.

"When the qualification started against Crusaders and Pyunik, these were the games we wanted to keep on growing and improving.

"It's always the same philosophy, game by game.

"All the players have been involved in all of the games and the answers have been very good.

"That doesn't mean it's over. We're only starting the season and have a lot of things to improve on.

"A full house at Molineux, what could be better?

"It's important for us, the help that the fans give us, the way they push the team and enjoy going alongside the team with us."

Belfast Telegraph


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