Is Nuno right to stick by his team?
As their struggles continue in both the Premier League and Europe, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo says he will not abandon his players - but is he right?
Wolves have fallen foul of the curse that is the Europa League and, despite the fact that the manager and a succession of players – this week it was Ruben Neves – continue to speak out and say their poor form is nothing to do with their European exertions, it clearly is.
Wolves have yet to pick up a win in the Premier League this season and are mirroring Burnley’s problems from last term when they were also involved in the Europa league.
Sean Dyche’s men looked doomed at Christmas but managed to turn their season around after going out of the competition and steadying the ship.
Wolves’ loss to Braga on Thursday night might mean they will not qualify for the next stage of the competition but the current group stage does not end until the second week of December and by then they could be in all sorts of trouble.
Nuno, though, has vowed to stick by his squad as he prepares them for a trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League, although many fans would rather he played a second string in Europe to ensure their Premier League status.
The loss on Thursday made it three defeats on the bounce and Wolves have never lost four on the trot under the current manager.
Despite their current predicament Nuno says he has no intention of abandoning his players and is keeping faith things will turn around.
He said: “One thing I don’t do, I never abandon a player. I don’t abandon a player, if they’re not performing well where can I find the solution to help him? This is what I do.
“They cannot have any doubts, the way we worked and the way we played is what got us here. This is what got us here from the Championship to the Europa League. No doubts, the way is clear.
“Those who came here, who are still integrating, they have to improve – and those who have been here longer. All of them and it’s a small squad so we need everyone to raise their standards and perform.”
A defeat this weekend could see Wolves hit the foot of the table and maybe Nuno might consider abandoning his players then, or risk being abandoned himself.
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.