Wolves' Adama Traore dreaming of Europa League glory
Wolves winger Adama Traore is eager for the Europa League to restart – and to win the whole thing.
All Premier League clubs are due to meet today to vote on the first phase of Project Restart, with 14 clubs needing to approve ‘small groups with social distancing’ training protocols.
But Wolves have the Europa to think about, too, and after drawing 1-1 in a behind-closed-doors clash at Greek club Olympiacos just before football was suspended, Traore is keen to see out the European journey in style.
“We would not be in this competition if we did not have the ambition to win it,” he said. “First of all, we don’t know yet when we’ll play our next game (the last-16 second-leg against Olympiacos).
“We will have to see then how we all feel. I hope we will all return healthy, this is the most important thing.
“Then we will do our best to prepare for the next match and continue working hard to get the best results we can.”
Wolves began their Europa journey in the qualifying rounds last July and, if things go according to plan, should be able to see the competition through – with Uefa said to be planning seeing out the remaining matches over the course of a few weeks.
After finishing second in Group K, they beat Espanyol in the last 32 to set up the two-legged encounter with Olympiacos.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s charges had also risen to sixth in the league before football was suspended due to the outbreak, and Traore said: “I think we have been good collectively. The manager has done an incredible job with us.
“But it’s not down to individuals, I think it’s the whole group at Wolverhampton, the physios, the coaches – everyone has done an incredible job.
“I think we have played this season many more games than last year, but we were well prepared every time. And the mentality of the team has also improved day after day.”
On a personal front, speedster Traore has enjoyed the best season of his career this far, tearing top-flight defences apart week after week.
He added: “Nuno has helped me a lot to improve. People say that I have changed, but I believe my mentality is the same.
“I have been playing in various positions this season – winger, forward. The important thing is to improve in each position.”