Raul Jimenez is not sharing his coach’s words when he says they are not thinking about Champions League this season.
Nuno Espirito Santo had come out after his team’s 2-1 win away at Norwich on the weekend and said that they are not considering finishing in the top four yet as, at this stage, they are not focussing on the league table.
Well, their Mexican number nine is thinking a little bit differently.
Jimenez – who has now scored 16 goals in 29 games this season – has said that it is ‘special’ that the club are on the periphery of the Champions League spaces within the league.
Speaking about it after the match, he told the Telegraph: “We are there, we are close, we are fighting [for a top-four place].
“It is special for us, to continue fighting for that place.
“Because of what we did last season, we want more. We knew that we put a very high line for us this season.
“This was what I was looking for, since arriving in Europe, being the important striker in a team.
“If you enjoy football, live it like the only thing in life, you can do good things.”
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While Nuno’s words were a lot more grounded than Jimenez’s it’s not a problem that they are far apart with their comments. As much as it might be more exciting if the Portuguese manager had come out and made expectations about finishing near the Champions League, it doesn’t really serve much of a purpose rather than adding more pressure onto the squad.
Similarly, it is also encouraging to hear the striker say that they want more and that they are going for it. It’s saying that they are not complacent for their position and that they will fight as hard as they can to get to where they want to be – the Champions League.
Considering that Wolves have a pretty thin squad – Conor Coady, Joao Moutinho, Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves, Rui Patricio and Raul Jimenez have played in every league game thus far (WhoScored) – it would be a huge ask for them to reach the Champions League. They have spent a fair bit of money, but ultimately, you cannot forget that they were in the Championship as recently as 2018. Heaping pressure on a side who still have so much room to grow could end up causing more harm than good.