Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has been reflecting on our exploits in the 2018/19 Premier League season as we returned to the top flight and also taken a look ahead given our seventh place finish sees us return to European competition this campaign.
It was a fine year back in the top flight as we re-established ourselves, and although there were a few lows, the highs more than made up for those and everyone knew it would be a difficult year as we looked to make the step up, so final league placing cannot be criticised in any way.
Speaking to the Official Website with preparations for the coming early start in the Qualifying Rounds of the Europa League our first main focus, Nuno reflected positively on last year but he remained as grounded as ever.
“We did OK. Of course, there were moments where you reflect and you look back and say: ‘Well done, the boys really worked hard’ and achieved far more than we expected in terms of performance and the ability to play against big teams. Of course, we did the work of analysis – now we can say we went beyond outside expectations. It is not normal for a club from the Championship. I think the team has progressed and has played better than the season before. This is the expectations we have. It is about staying the same, nothing is going to change this year, no matter we have Europa League qualifications and the cups. Nothing is going to change, we are going to go game by game and we are preparing game by game.”
With the year ahead nearing it’s about further improvement, further consolidation and further growth with the first team group and with Second Season Syndrome to consider, along with definitely not being an unknown quantity now and additional games, he’s right to comment it’ll be tougher but it was never going to be easy anyway.
“It is a new challenge and a new year. It is going to be tougher than last season for sure. We cannot rely on the optimism of the previous results. We are going to be in four competitions and all these things, but at the same time I expect the players to keep improving. It is going to be tougher because the season will demand a lot more from us. Time between matches and the games, we have to look at that. It will require more from us. That is not the message to players because the message is always inside of us, it doesn’t change. Now is like filling up a bottle, each day that you don’t put a little inside you are going to miss it for the future. You have to work hard in the training session and prepare ourselves for what is coming in front of us.”
Almost time to enjoy the ride again and let’s just see how we go and whether we can take another step.