‘We cannot expect things to happen’: Nuno Espirito Santo warns his Wolves players not take Europa League progress for granted ahead of Slovan Bratislava visit on Thursday night
- Wolves host Slovan Bratislava in the Europa League on Thursday evening
- A win would put Nuno Espirito Santo’s men on the cusp of knockout qualification
- However, the manager insists the job will not be done with this one victory
Boss Nuno Espirito Santo refused to get carried away with Wolves closing in on the Europa League knockout stages.
Victory against Slovan Bratislava at Molineux on Thursday would put Wolves on the brink of reaching the last 32.
They would move five points clear of Bratislava, who sit third in Group K, with two games to play.
Nuno Espirito Santo has warned Wolves not to take Europa League progress for granted
Wolves are second in the group, a point behind Braga – who they travel to later this month – after a 2-1 win in Slovakia two weeks ago.
But Nuno insisted Wolves cannot start thinking about qualification yet.
‘We are always confident, we cannot expect things to happen, we have to make them happen,’ he said.
‘We have to play the game, we are ready to compete and Slovan are a very tough team. Competing well is more important (than thinking about qualifying).
‘It was an important result (in Bratislava), Slovan are a very good team, they caused us problems and we expect a tough game again.
‘We want to play, perform, we are back at Molineux and want to perform well.’
Diogo Jota is banned after his late red card in Slovakia two weeks ago while Morgan Gibbs-White is still struggling with a back problem.
Matt Doherty is expected to be fit despite being forced off in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Arsenal with a knee injury.
Ryan Bennett has recovered from a groin injury and should return to the squad.
A second victory over Slovan Bratislava would put them within touching distance of knockouts
Wolves are 12th in the Premier League as they adjust to playing in Europe and Adama Traore echoed his manager’s caution about qualifying from Group K.
‘I can’t say how far we’ll go but what I can tell you is we will fight every game to win,’ he said.
‘We are aware of these three points but the important thing is to stay focused, we can’t think about ‘maybe we’ll win three points’.
‘Each game is important. We don’t come out on to the pitch thinking ‘win these three points and maybe we’re in the next round’.
‘It’s a new competition for us, playing two games in the week, but the mentality of the team is great.’