Captain Conor Coady insists Wolves will embrace the Europa League like they did the Premier League – being ready for it and not fearing anyone.
Wolves have qualified for European competition for the first time in 39 years and play the winners of Northern Irish side Crusaders and Faroe Islanders B36 Torshavn in the second qualifying round on July 25 and August 1. There is growing excitement at the prospect of Wolves being in Europe again and more than 6,000 tickets were sold on the first day for the first date, which is at Molineux.
Burnley struggled last season after finishing seventh – the same position as Wolves last term– in 2017-18. The Clarets failed to reach the group stages, playing six games in the competition, beating Aberdeen and Turkish side Basaksehir over two legs before going out to Greek outfit Olympiakos. Sean Dyche’s side lost 13 of their first 19 Premier League matches last season before mounting a big recovery in the second half of the season to finish 15th.
Coady says Wolves won’t be looking to emulate Burnley’s experience. “If we look at things like that, I don’t think we will go very far in the competition,” the skipper told talkSPORT. “We’ve got to embrace it as much as we can, like we did with the Premier League last season.
“It’s something we’re really excited about playing in, it’s a new experience for a few of the boys but we’ve got to remember we’ve got players who have played in the Champions League and the Europa League and they’re used to these sorts of competitions, so it’s something we’re going to embrace as a club and a team, and hopefully we can do well in it.”
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were never intimidated by big-name opposition last season, picking up more points against the top six (16) than the bottom six (13). Coady also insists Wolves will approach the competition not fearing anyone.
“Getting European football is a fantastic achievement for the club, the boys and all of the supporters as well. I think it’s important we go into it with that same mentality of not having any fear,” said Coady.
“We’ve got a manager who keeps heads focused to be honest. Last season we never thought about the Premier League too much, we just thought going to play without any fear and in the way we do.
“The manager was big on that from the start, not just in the run-in, so I think it’s important that the manager is like that to make us relaxed and ready for that.
“It’s incredible, and for the supporters especially, it’s very exciting and we can’t wait for it. The first leg is at Molineux and it’s something we’re looking forward to, so we’ll see who we end up getting.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re ready because it’s an exciting time for supporters, but also for us, because it’s a different competition, but one we’re looking forward to playing in.
“Pre-season is about getting the right amount of minutes into legs and making sure the boys are ready for that Europa League game in July 25, which we will make sure we’re ready for.”