Nuno Espirito Santo says Wolves are ready for mammoth Europa League trip

Wolves will play FC Pyunik next week after a 6-1 aggregate win over Crusaders.

By Press Association Published: 1 August 2019 - 9.50pm

Nuno Espirito Santo has backed Wolves to handle their mammoth 6,370 mile Europa League round trip to Armenia.

Wolves booked a third round qualifying tie with FC Pyunik after a 6-1 aggregate victory at Crusaders following a 4-1 victory on Thursday.

Raul Jimenez’s first-half brace and Ryan Bennett’s header cancelled out the defender’s early own goal which gave the Belfast side a shock lead.

Jordan Forsythe’s own goal added a fourth for Wolves late on and they now face a mammoth trip to eastern Europe next week with the game just 72 hours before next Sunday’s Premier League opener at Leicester.

Nuno said: “We have to prepare and recover well for the trip. It’s going to be tough but we are ready.

“We will start thinking about it now. The game is over and we have to think about the next round.

“We are ready and we know what we are going to face, we have thought about all the aspects. Let’s make the right decisions and go for it.

Wolves went behind after 13 minutes
Wolves went behind after 13 minutes (Liam McBurney/PA)

“Tonight we knew we were going to find a well organised team. We conceded first and we weren’t expecting that moment but we reacted immediately, we reacted very well to the situation of the own goal.”

Leading 2-0 from the first leg, Wolves survived an early scare when Bennett nodded into his own net after 13 minutes.

Jimenez levelled two minutes later before Bennett notched at the right end after 38 minutes.

Mexico forward Jimenez scored a classy second just before the break and Forsythe’s second-half own goal added the gloss to Wolves’ win.

But Jimenez limped off early in the second half after suffering a foot knock and will be assessed.

“Let’s see how it is,” Nuno added. “He hasn’t had much time without competition but we have to be careful and manage the right moments to get him back in shape and the full fitness we want.”

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter was proud of his side and felt they did themselves justice.

“We have to prepare and recover well for the trip. It's going to be tough but we are ready”
- Nuno Espirito Santo

He said: “It’s never easy losing 4-1 but when you lose to Wolves 4-1 you probably say ‘fair enough’.

“To lose 6-1 over two legs says a lot for what we have accomplished here. They did us an honour playing their best team in both legs.

“Credit to our boys on how they prepared for these two games. We thwarted them time after time and to take the lead and scare them – for all of 30 seconds – was a nice moment.”