Nuno admits rotation is key
Nuno Espirito Santo admits he will have to rotate his Wolves side for Thursday's Europa League clash with Braga at Molineux.
Wolves had to negotiate three qualifying rounds to secure their place in the group stage of Europe’s secondary competition, but their hectic fixture schedule has seen their Premier League form suffer – Nuno’s side are yet to win in the top-flight this season.
However, Wolves have won all six of their matches in Europe to date and they will be hoping to extend that record against Braga.
Nuno has built his success at Wolves over the last two seasons on working with a small squad and making limited changes on a match by match basis, but the Portuguese coach admits he will have to rotate his side more due to their increased workload this term.
“This is how you have to do things. What’s more important is that we have a plan, we have a strategy and we work,” Nuno told reporters.
The players understand that, from day one, this season was a new challenge.
“We had to play qualifiers, play-offs, compete against very strong teams in the Premier League, and the future is what is ahead of us – Thursdays, Sundays, Thursdays, Sundays. It’s a challenge that we want to embrace and compete in every game.”
Despite the extra workload, Nuno has no fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of Thursday’s match and defender Ryan Bennett could feature after missing last week’s 5-2 loss to Chelsea in the Premier League.
Bennett could be one of 10 changes made by Nuno, who has confirmed that captain Conor Coady is the only player guaranteed to retain his place.
Nuno added: “Tomorrow, on the right side we have the options of Vallejo or Bennett. We have options for the left side, we have Saiss, Max [Kilman] and Boly; the three are ready to go. Coady is ok, Coady’s going to play – he always plays.”
Like Wolves, Braga have also made an indifferent start to the season domestically, as they sit just a point above the relegation zone in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
Ricardo Sa Pinto’s side did finish fourth last season and are Europa League regulars, although winger Wilson Eduardo and defender Vitor Tormena are both injury doubts for Thursday’s match.
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.