Nuno Espirito Santo insists Burnley’s ‘burnout’ is not a concern for Europa League chasing Wolves.
Wolves go to Turf Moor tomorrow to face a team that finished seventh last season, the same position Nuno’s side occupy now.
If Wolves finish seventh and either they or Manchester City win the FA Cup, Nuno’s side will qualify for the Europa League.
Burnley have since been fighting a relegation battle this season and are currently fourth from bottom, two points above the drop zone but having played a game more than Cardiff a place below.
Nuno has built Wolves’ success around having a small squad but is unconcerned at the pressure a European campaign would put on his players.
“I don’t think about that. We only look at the game and how we want to play, the things we want to do against a tough team,” he said.
“It started a long time ago but this season, we started with a small squad.
“Now we have an even smaller squad, and it’s our philosophy, it’s a belief that the squad being short, everybody’s involved, everyone has time in the competition, and the relationships between them increases because of the amount of hours they spend together.”
Nuno insists he would not have the size of his squad any other way.
“We are happy. It’s an idea we have,” he added. “The players are available so it’s up to us to manage well and make the right decisions.”
Wolves are aiming to complete the double over the Clarets after picking up their first Premier League home win of the season against the same opposition in September.
Since a difficult start – and a spectacular recovery – Sean Dyche’s side have lost four games on the bounce.
But Nuno is expecting a stiff examination for his side on their return from the international break.
“Burnley are a very good team at home – physical, aggressive and well-organised. It’s a very tough game for us,” he insisted.
“I expect a tough game between two teams who compete well. I can only focus on myself and the players, the things we want to do.
“But we realise how difficult it is going to be tomorrow. We have to be switched on.”
Nuno suggests Wolves have grown as an outfit since facing Burnley in September.
“Since that game, the team has progressed, changed and adapted,” he added. “Everybody has grown up and become better.”
Nuno says he has focused on Burnley’s players, rather than their league position.
“We don’t pay attention to the position of Burnley, we focus on the qualities of their players,” he said.
“The table doesn’t mean anything when you face someone. It’s a very tough competition. Nothing is finished yet.”
Wolves now face three games in eight days, with Manchester United at home on Tuesday followed by the FA Cup semi-final against Watford a week on Sunday.
Nuno is unconcerned about the tough schedule.
“It’s game by game. We are only focused on the next game, don’t think about anything else.
“I hope they continue to do that because it’s the best way to compete, looking at the next challenge – don’t think about anything else. This is how we work. It’s a belief.”
Try telling that to the fans, who are jumping for joy at the prospect of a first cup appearance at Wembley since 1988 and a first semi-final since 1998.
The 33,000 allocation was sold in five days and 86 coaches have been booked on the club’s official travel.
Nuno acknowledged: “It’s amazing. We are very pleased. We know when the moment comes, everybody will be there, and we will show up strong and try to compete.
“But this is not the moment to think about the FA Cup.”