Shropshire Star

Wolves boss Nuno pleased with pre-season progress

Nuno Espirito Santo says Wolves' pre-season preparations are going well after they thrashed Newcastle United 4-0 in China.


While Wolves have played behind-closed-doors friendlies against Huddersfield and Walsall, this was their first official pre-season encounter.

And with the club's first European tie for 39 years taking place next Thursday at Molineux against either Crusaders or B36 Torshavn, Nuno is pleased with where Wolves are at.

"It's going well, we're trying to progress and improve," Nuno said. "The idea is to try and accelerate and do it well. These things take time but our preparation is going well.

"(The positives were) preparation for the competition, high possession of the team, good shape, good combinations, goals, we want to prepare ourselves for the competitions, that's the positive.

"It was very tough for the players (in the heat). The idea was to try and increase minutes, more game time. In one week they'll be ready to go. For both teams it was tough.

"We have one more game (on Saturday), hopefully a good performance and that's the idea, not just now but in the season, we'll take it game by game."

Several Wolves youngsters made their first appearance in a senior first-team game, with Dion Sanderson, Terry Taylor, Luke Cundle, Hong Wan and Taylor Perry playing for the first time, while Niall Ennis also came on.

Another youngster, albeit one with plenty of Premier League experience, Morgan Gibbs-White, scored his first goal in a senior Wolves game, making it 2-0 with a curling shot.

Nuno said: "The idea was to try and develop the youth players while knowing they're helping us because we have a short squad.

"We have to manage first-team players and the time we give to them.

"The (young) boys did well, they had the chance to show what they've been doing in training sessions. They're trying to improve and emulate the senior players as well as they can.

"I'm happy for Morgan, it's not his natural position. Being versatile is one of the things we want in our squad.

"We have a lot of players able to do different positions in the pitch – that's the idea of a short squad."

Diogo Jota scored twice as Wolves raced into a 3-0 half-time lead, before a late Tom Allan own goal completed the rout.

Jota said: "I'm delighted with my goals, it's an extra boost for confidence, but the main thing of the game is getting ready physically for the official matches.

“Scoring goals always gives you an extra boost in terms of confidence and you have to take advantage of that and keep working hard to be 100 percent for the first match.

"Of course it's not (Gibbs-White's) normal position but he did it well. We were trying our best to understand each other."

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