Belfast Telegraph

Nuno hails pre-season trip to China as success

 

Number one: Nuno Espirito Santo speaking in Shanghai
Number one: Nuno Espirito Santo speaking in Shanghai

By Carl Markham

Nuno Espirito Santo believes Wolves' pre-season trip to China has given the club's profile a huge boost.

Wolves' Chinese owners, Fosun, have made a strong marketing push around their team's involvement in this week's Premier League Asia Trophy.

The club have opened a new megastore in Shanghai, launched a clothing range at a well-attended fashion show and promoted Wolves-themed beer.

On the field, Wolves beat Newcastle in Nanjing on Wednesday and will play in today's final against Premier League champions Manchester City in Shanghai.

"Yes, it's definitely (been a success)," said manager Nuno, who guided Wolves to seventh in their first season back in the Premier League last term. "We knew one of the goals of our trip to the Asia Trophy was that.

"We're delighted to be here and the players are being very patient and co-operative.

"It's difficult, with the weather and all these things, but we are really happy to be here. All the events made by the club, the way they appreciate us, the way we go on the street and people share their happiness, it's good."

Captain Conor Coady has also enjoyed his time in China.

The 26-year-old said: "It's been amazing - the football side of it and the events off the pitch have been fantastic for us.

"The way the people have taken to Wolves and taken us in and shown their support has been fantastic. We remember where we were three or four years ago. To be where we are now, we need to make the most of it and make sure we keep on improving."

Wolves now know they will face Crusaders in their eagerly anticipated Europa League qualifier next week, but Nuno wants to get Saturday's game out of the way before planning for that.

"First we have the game tomorrow and then we are going to think about Crusaders," he said.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino concedes he would likely have quit Tottenham had they beaten Liverpool to win the Champions League. The Argentinian took over at Spurs in 2014 with their miraculous run to Madrid last season the pinnacle of his time at the club.

Yet Spurs lost 2-0 to the Reds in the final, a result which appears to have ensured the club retained their manager.

"It was an amazing period," he said. "After five years in a difficult project at Tottenham we talk a lot about perception and reality, how we fight and all the energy we expend trying to get Tottenham fighting with the best teams in Europe and England.

"Of course it's always in your head, you never know. With the way I am, I am always going to prioritise the club over myself.

"Maybe if it was a different result after the final you can think, 'OK, maybe this is a moment to step out of the club'."

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