Thursday , October 31 2019

Conor Coady ready for a Euro trip like no other as Wolves prepare for Slovan Bratislava clash

‘It is another adventure to us, another experience’: Conor Coady ready for a Europa League trip like no other as Wolves prepare for Slovan Bratislava

  • Wolves play Slovan Bratislava away in the Europa League on Thursday evening
  • Conor Coady has called it another chapter in the club’s European adventure
  • The Europa League group match will be played in a stadium full of youngsters
  • Wolves were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton on Saturday at home 

Two matches in two days involving Wolves and then Southampton. But very different pressures, significantly contrasting incentives.

On Thursday, Wolves play in Slovakia against Slovan Bratislava in what skipper Conor Coady calls another chapter in the club’s adventure in the Europa League.

Some 24 hours later, Southampton look to finish a month of misadventure by building on the platform of this draw after three successive Premier League defeats when they take on revitalised Leicester.

Conor Coady is relishing Wolves’ Europa League trip to Slovan Bratislava on Thursday evening

It will be a bizarre experience for Coady and his men in Bratislava. The match is supposed to be played behind closed doors because of racism among the Slovakian fans — instead it will be full. Full of local youngsters to create an atmosphere of some description.

‘Let’s just go and enjoy ourselves,’ said Coady. ‘I have heard it is a sell-out — a behind-closed-doors sell-out! It’s a bit mad.

‘It is something we are looking forward to. Listen, it is another adventure to us, another experience.’

Coady is Mr Consistency for Wolves but it was his lapse of judgement that gave Southampton the opportunity to take the lead in the 53rd minute. He misjudged a headed through ball, allowing Danny Ings a free run at goal to score.

Raul Jimenez rescued a point from the penalty spot for Wolves against Southampton

Raul Jimenez rescued a point from the penalty spot for Wolves against Southampton

‘I just lost concentration,’ he admitted. ‘I was focused on what was ahead of me to try to start a counter attack. A loss of concentration. It was as simple as that.’

Wolves could have been two ahead by then. Raul Jimenez could have gone home with the match ball. But two strikes were ruled out after VAR checks by Peter Bankes: the first for handball (he got a yellow card to add to his misery) and the second because a team-mate was fractionally offside in the build-up.

That makes it seven strikes against Southampton ruled out by technology this season. At this rate manager Ralph Hasenhuttl may be tempted to nominate VAR as his defender of the season.

Wolves equalised when Jimenez finally got his goal with a 61st-minute penalty after Matt Doherty drew an indiscreet challenge from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Even then, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo admitted he held his breath for a second while referee Bankes checked with HQ that the award was valid.

But Hasenhuttl finished happy with a point. And he has optimism following the performance of a fit-again Ings. The striker has been plagued by injury but his return has given summer signing Che Adams the chance to settle in. Hasenhuttl is in no doubt about what Ings can offer. ‘He is 100 per cent fit and absolutely buzzing,’ he said. ‘I knew that this was not too much for him, that he was ready to go the distance again.’

Danny Ings had put Southampton ahead at the Molineux on Saturday in the Premier League

Danny Ings had put Southampton ahead at the Molineux on Saturday in the Premier League