Mel Eves insists Wolves will not do a West Brom and hit the beaches after their FA Cup semi-final disappointment – because Nuno won’t allow it.
Wolves return to Premier League action tomorrow when they go to Southampton aiming to get over their Wembley heartache last week when they lost 3-2 to Watford after extra-time.
Albion collected just five points out of a possible 36 from their last 12 matches in 2016-17, losing nine of them, after hitting 40 points on February 25.
League Cup winner Eves, an FA Cup semi-finalist in 1981 and regular summariser on Wolves on BBC WM, is confident Wolves will bounce back.
“It won’t be difficult at all. They will have been gutted but they will get over it. They are professionals,” he said.
“They can’t wait for their first game now to go again and they will go to Southampton. It’s football.
“We’ve seen it before – when West Brom got to 40 points they switched off. But this is a different animal. Wolves will go on – Nuno won’t have it any other way.
“There are 18 points still to play for, and every place is worth over £1m, so it’s not small change.”
Eves feels Nuno might change personnel and give other players their chance as he looks to see who he wants to keep for next season.
“The next six games define where Wolves finish this season, but also I think it determines whether some players are going to be at the club or not, because they’re going to bring players in,” said the former striker.
“He might give other people chances to play more minutes between now and the end of the season.
“If they’ve got to make decisions on people for next season, they will be looking at whether certain players are going to be at the club or not.”
Nuno’s substitutions in the semi-final have sparked plenty of debate among fans, after he replaced Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota for Ryan Bennett and Ivan Cavaleiro in the final minutes before Troy Deeney equalised to force extra-time.
But Eves agreed with the head coach’s thinking.
“I could see why he did it,” he said. “With a few minutes left, he was trying to see the game out. He wasn’t playing for extra-time, so in affect bringing Ryan Bennett and putting Romain Saiss in midfield and taking Diogo Jota was a decent move for me.
“He wouldn’t have taken Jota off if he thought it was going to go to extra-time.
“He still had fresh legs in Ivan Cavaleiro, but he went around the keeper and the ball hit his leg.
“The poor lad wasn’t aiming to do that, but the fact he’s done that two or three times precludes him starting too many games.
“It’s the same with Helder Costa. His confidence in front of goal is lacking.”