Braga boss piles pressure on Wolves

Braga boss Ricardo Sa Pinto believes the pressure is all on Wolves rather than his Portuguese side as they prepare to meet in the Europa League.

Braga boss Ricardo Sa Pinto
Braga boss Ricardo Sa Pinto

Sa Pinto’s side staged an open training session at Molineux last night ahead of tonight’s opening Group K game.

Braga have only won their opening Primiera Liga game but are unbeaten in the Europa League journey to date.

Wolves’ form echoes their opponents’ with Nuno Espirito Santo’s men yet to win in the Premier League. But for Sa Pinto, Nuno’s home side are the ones under pressure, not his men.

He said: “If you take into account the quality of their squad and budget, they have a greater responsibility and there’s greater pressure on them to win the game. We will fight to get the best result but the pressure for victory is on Wolves.

“We don’t feel pressure, we feel a responsibility to represent the club and the greatness of the club. I want the team to enjoy themselves but also take the opportunity.

“We want to win points, three points would be great, one would be good as well. I have a strategy for the game.”

But Sa Pinto believes the Molineux crowd could have a part to play as he prepares his men for a big atmosphere.

Though he does not see either teams position in their respective tables as playing a part in the encounter.

He said: “It’s not about position, it’s about having a good game. Wolves are in similar position to us but it’s just the start. Both teams are in the Europa League and we are both going into the game unbeaten in qualifying.

“Wolves are a team with a very high level and have players with a lot of experience.

“We have to take into account the atmosphere, the fans will be on top pressuring the referee. We know Wolves will impose themselves.

“Nuno has done an excellent job. We have the information on them, they have information on us, there are no more surprises in football.”

Sa Pinto knows all about Wolves having coached both Rui Patricio and Jaoa Moutinho during his time at Sporting Lisbon.

And in Ruben Neves he believes Nuno has one of the most outstanding young Portuguese talents at his disposal. But his team will not be surprised having done their homework. He said: “In football there is no surprises. We know the quality of their players.

“Nuno has done an excellent job here in England and continued the great work he has done at his previous clubs.

“He has taken the club from the Championship to the Premier League.

“He guided the club to seventh and the Europa League.

“The club has not been in the Europa League for many years.

“He has done an excellent job and they have excellent players. Rui Patrício was my player at Sporting Lisbon. Joao Moutinho started playing under me at 18-years-old. There are other great players.

“You have Ruben Neves who is one of the outstanding young talents in Portuguese football.

“Diogo Jota, the quality of Ruben Vinagre and players at Wolves who came through at Braga that are now at Wolves. They have players like Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore with his speed and explosive nature.

“It will be a difficult game to play.

“There are no surprises in football these days.

“We have information on them, they have it on us.

“They keep an eye on our domestic championship we look at their domestic championships but no surprises.”

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