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Wolves boss discusses ‘fantastic’ Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United, injuries and long throw advantage

10 months ago
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Nuno Espirito Santo watched his team halt a run of only one point from six games.

However, speaking ahead of the game at Newcastle, the Wolves boss admits: ‘We won a very difficult game (against Chelsea), but we didn’t solve all our problems. We made mistakes against Chelsea even though we won.’

The reality was that Wolves had only 30% possession and one corner, scoring with both of the only two shots they had on target. Nothing wrong with that of course but the Wolves manager honest with his appraisal.

As for Sunday, Nuno Espirito Santo declares about Newcastle “Their discipline, with good football, is a reflection of a very good manager that I really respect.”

Wolves are only missing Jonny Otto through injury, so Nuno has a pretty much full strength squad to pick from.

Despite being a footballing side, the visiting manager also has utilised centre-back Ryan Bennett’s very long throws, maybe even more of a consideration for Rafa Benitez when deciding if he will stick with the three centre-back formation that worked so well at Burnley and Everton.

Nuno Espirito Santo:

Rafa Benitez is a fantastic manager, with all the titles he’s achieved.

“The way he works and prepares, you see how organised Newcastle are. Their discipline, with good football, is a reflection of a very good manager that I really respect.

“We know what we’re going to find.

“They got a good result, a draw away from home (at Everton). They started the competition against difficult opponents, it was hard. They bounced back, we watched their last game and we’re going to face a difficult team.

“Newcastle have good players, a very good manager, and the atmosphere is going to be noisy. We have to be prepared and knowing what we did before will not help us on Sunday.

 “We won a very difficult game (against Chelsea), but we didn’t solve all our problems.

“We made mistakes against Chelsea even though we won.

“We have the same approach, positives and negatives, and we try to find solutions and prepare for Newcastle.

“The way we conceded the goal (against Chelsea) we were organised and suddenly there’s a deflection and you’re behind against a big team.

“The reaction was very good and this is the building of a team that wants to compete against any opponent, we still have a very long way to go, but the way we reacted was very good.”

Injuries/availability:

“Except for Jonny, I have all the options available, he’s the only problem, the rest are solutions and good options.”

The Ryan Bennett long throws:

“The long throw fits with my philosophy of trying to find solutions to help the team. If a throw in can help the team achieve a goal I will repeat it over and over again.

“We don’t know if we’re going to use it on Sunday, but I truly believe we can’t take away that advantage. If teams do it and have success, why wouldn’t we? I went home and spent hours thinking of solutions and I saw it, but if you are unbalanced, you allow yourself to be counter attacked.”

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