Belfast Telegraph

Nuno turns attention to potential Europa League spot after FA Cup disappointment

Wanderers could finish as high as seventh – which may earn a Europa League place – in their first season back in the top flight.

Nuno has switched his focus back to securing a strong league finish (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Nuno has switched his focus back to securing a strong league finish (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves have put their FA Cup disappointment behind them and are concentrating on securing a seventh-placed Premier League finish.

Wolves’ first appearance in an FA Cup semi-final for 21 years ended in heartbreak against Watford at Wembley last weekend after they squandered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 in extra time.

Nuno’s team return to Premier League action on Saturday at Southampton, looking to maintain their strong challenge for a seventh-placed finish – and possibly a place in Europe next season – in their maiden campaign back in the top flight.

“You have to organise your thoughts, and what we feel now is pride. What we achieved in the FA Cup was a good thing. Now, we have to move forward,” said the Wolves boss.

“We look behind and see how we did things, how we do it now, and how we do it in the future. It is always with the idea of being stronger and a better team.

“We want to finish as high as we can in the league and the next game is always more important and that is Southampton – tough challenge. They are a very good team, organised, they have good players and a good manager.”

Something which Nuno hopes will help Wolves in their remaining matches is another warm-weather training camp in Marbella.

Wanderers will head to the Spanish resort for the second time this season after Saturday’s game at St Mary’s and Nuno is a strong believer in its benefits for unity within his squad.

“This was planned and we are proceeding with the plan, going to the training camp to regroup and become stronger for the next games,” he said.

“It’s been good (previously). We think it allows us to spend more time together – not only in terms of training sessions but social life.

“We have breakfast together, train together, eat lunch together, eat dinner together. Sometimes we spend much time together after dinner doing different activities.

“It allows us to be in a different environment, but spending more time together. We can see that’s really important, so that’s the idea. It’s a really enjoyable time for everybody.”

Rui Patricio is likely to be recalled in goal against Southampton, with John Ruddy having played in the FA Cup. Another potential change to the starting line up could see Ryan Bennett replace Romain Saiss in defence.

PA

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