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Nuno: Extra midfielder vital for ‘growth’ of Wolves team

Nuno Espirito Santo has admitted the tactical tweak that has transformed Wolves’ season was vital to the ‘growth of the team’.

Since the Molineux head coach switched from a 3-4-3 formation to 3-5-2, Wolves have won 11, drew five and lost four in all competitions, starting with the 2-1 home victory over Chelsea on December 5, after one point out of 18 before it.

After their success earlier in the season, teams appeared to have done their homework on Wolves by stopping them playing through the midfield as much.

Huddersfield and Watford both won 2-0 at Molineux after stifling the middle of the pitch with an extra player, making it difficult for Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho to pass the ball as freely.

The tactical switch, which initially saw Morgan Gibbs-White then Leander Dendoncker introduced for their first Premier League starts, came after the six-game winless sequence.

That remains Wolves’ worst run under Nuno, but the Portuguese denies it was a knee-jerk reaction.

“The change was not based on one game,” he said. “It was one of the things we felt the team needed, but it didn’t change our idea of how we want to perform and the things we want to do.

“Nothing says that things will stay forever. Honestly, what we try to do is make a line of growth.

“The growth of the team is more important. Of course you must have details, and we do concentrate on the details and pass these on to the players, but it’s about how we want to play and how we want to develop as a team.

“I think we have a very good chance to become a better team now.”

Nuno also stressed the pivotal change is as much to do with the approach of the players as the tactics.

“It’s not just to do with having an extra man (in midfield) or not. It’s about your attitude through the game,” he insisted.