Wolverhampton Wanderers star Diogo Jota has been looking ahead to our first stab at European football in almost 40 years, and he believes that given the players we have at the club our minimum aim should be the Group Stages.
Having finished seventh in the Premier League table in our return to the top flight last season, Wolves enter the Europa League competition in the Qualifying Rounds of the tournament and have an early start to the 2019/20 campaign and after our trip to China, we get serious for our first double header in the tournament.
Given the up kick in our ambitions and the players we have targeted in recent seasons, we already boast some good European experience in the squad and that should only help us.
Speaking to the Official Website as last week came to a close, 22-year-old Jota new it would be a big moment for the club as we continue our improvements, but the Group Stages were certainly the first aim when it came to our expectations.
“It’s special because I came to the club in the Championship and I’ve grown up with the club, so it’s a special moment to be back in a European competition, and for me because it’s my first time playing in the Europa League. In the knockout stages with two legs, that’s unfamiliar, so it’s always tricky and you need some experience to deal with it. It’s a different game, when you know you’ve already got a result and you know a draw is enough, but normally if you play to draw, you lose so it’s a good thing to learn. We have people with a lot of experience and they know what it is. The manager has experience, so I think we’ll go through to the group stage.”
We should certainly be aiming for the Group Stages of the competition given the quality we have in the squad, and there will be those fans who already think the knockout stages should be whispered quietly when it comes to our expectations of the competition.
I doubt Nuno Espirito Santo will change his game by game focus though.