Nuno Espirito Santo expresses pride over Wolves’ identity ahead of Sevilla clash
Victory on Tuesday night would take Wolves a step closer to Champions League qualification.
Nuno Espirito Santo has called on Wolves to impose their identity on Sevilla in the last eight of the Europa League.
The most high-profile match of Nuno’s three-year reign so far takes place in Duisburg on Tuesday night against the five-time winners from La Liga.
The one-off clash is Wolves’ first quarter-final in Europe since 1972, and victory would take them a step closer to Champions League qualification, just two years after they were promoted from the Championship.
“It’s been a long journey, not only this season,” Nuno said at a press conference.
“A long journey that started three seasons ago in the Championship. It’s basically the same group of players. It was about trying to build a team, creating an identity, and we look forward to competing well and playing a good game.
“We’ve been able to create an identity. It’s one of the most precious things in football – having an identity, based on a style of play and how we deal with our rules and tasks, how we deal with problems.
“Trying to create a team, recruiting players, some take time, some not, but this is what it’s all about. We have to manage the result and I’m very proud of how we’ve done things and now I can say we have our own identity.
“It’s based on strong foundations of respect and hard work, and this is what we want to show – a good team, with an identity, committed to the challenge.”
For defender Ruben Neves the match – Wolves’ 59th of a marathon season – will be a reunion with Julen Lopetegui, the coach who gave him his debut as a 17-year-old for Porto.
“He’s a great coach, he likes to play good football with a high press,” Neves said.
“It will be really hard for us but we are ready. They need to be ready for us as well because we’ve shown already that we have a great squad. I think it will be a good game.
“I cannot lie, he’s a very special coach for me. It’s not normal in Portugal, coaches giving minutes to academy players.
“He’s a very special coach but I want to beat him because I want to go through. I’m thankful to him because he started my career.”
Wolves are without the injured Jonny and Daniel Podence through suspension.