Romain Saiss: Sleep is key to Wolves' recovery
Romain Saiss says the secret to surviving Wolves’ current fixture pile-up is sleep.
Saiss, 29, returned to the squad for the West Ham clash after suspension saw him take an enforced rest last weekend.
The midfielder-turned-defender is now preparing for another quick turnaround as Wolves head to Brighton on Sunday.
But the Moroccan captain has used Wolves’ Europa League journey and his own international duty to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
Speaking about recovery, he said: “I try to sleep a lot! Sometimes it is hard at home with the kids!
“You need to take care of your body and drink a lot of water. Do some massage, ice bath and everything you can do to be ready.
“The travel this time (with my country Morocco) was so long for me, it was almost one day with the flight and the airport. The details are really important at this level. I’m happy to be fit, we have another game and we need to recover to be ready for this month.”
Wolves are now two matches into an eight-game December and Saiss stressed that attention to detail is key.
Saiss faced a 22-hour return journey from Morocco’s recent 3-0 win in Burundi during the international break. And he says Wolves’ recovery protocol is important due to their small squad.
He said: “I think we work very well with the staff and the physical trainer.
“Because we have a lot of internationals – some in America, like me in Africa – so it is not really easy when we have to travel.
“I had to do 22 hours of travel to come back to Wolves. We have to be aware about the details. We have to take care of this. I think we are doing a great job together to stay fit.
“We don’t have a big squad so everyone is important.
“We have to keep on going and try to not pick up injury until the end of the season.”
Saiss has been playing in defence for the majority of this term due to injuries to Willy Boly (ankle) and Ryan Bennett (groin). And he explained that journey to central defence started when ex-Morroco coach Hervé Renard called him up for his second cap in 2016.
He said: “Since I was younger I’ve played a lot of positions.
“I’ve either played midfield or centre-back.
“Most of the time was midfield.
“But every time in the season I play almost 10 games in defence.
“Then for my second cap in the national team I played centre-back.
“I would have started normally in the midfield but the centre-back was injured.
“The coach at the time asked me if I could play at the back.
“I said yes and now 41 caps at the back!
“The most important thing is to be on the pitch and enjoy because we play football. We are lucky to play this sport. Especially when you go to Africa and you see that some countries are very poor. You have to appreciate it and be really thankful to God.”
Renard was replaced by Vahid Halilhodzic in the summer and Saiss was delighted to take over the captaincy for that November international.
He said: “It was fantastic for me.
“I was really proud to be captain.
“I know it is a lot of responsibility, fortunately for me we won the game.
“So that was good for me being the first one.
“The most important thing is the team with the new coach.
“A lot of players retire now so a new coach has come in so we have to build together.
“It is good and I’m very proud to be the captain.”