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Jota: Wolves’ main focus must be on Europa, not City

Diogo Jota insists Wolves’ main focus is to be ready for the start of their Europa League campaign when they play in the Premier League Asia Trophy final against Manchester City.
Jota’s brace helped Wolves to a 4-0 win over Newcastle in the semi-final in Nanjing to clinch a place in Saturday’s final against the Premier League champions, who beat West Ham 4-1 in their semi. But Wolves only have a week before they face their first competitive game of the season when they host the winners of Northern Irish side Crusaders and Faroe Islanders B36 Torshavn in the second qualifying round first leg on Thursday, July 25 at Molineux. They meet tonight (Thursday) in Torshavn with Crusaders 2-0 ahead after the first leg. And Jota says the Europa tie is their priority.
“In the end it’s always about performance, but if you can win (the final), everyone would choose to win,” the Portuguese attacker told “We’ll go there to win the match, but the main thing is to get ready for the official match (Europa League).
“We knew they were hard conditions, but we tried to do our best because we have an official match next week.”
Jota was delighted to get off the mark in style with two first-half goals against the Geordies. Both were sweet left-foot finishes bookending Morgan Gibbs-White’s maiden strike; the first a fierce low shot inside Karl Darlow’s near post, then a more measured finish after he robbed Isaac Hayden inside the box.
“Scoring goals always gives you an extra boost in terms of confidence and you have to take advantage of that and keep working hard to be 100 per cent for the first match,” he said. “For the second goal I tried to react fast to the loss of the ball. Fortunately, I scored and it was good for me and the team that we were able to make it 3-0 very soon (afterwards).”
Tom Allan’s headed own goal five minutes from time following Ruben Vinagre’s corner underlined a comfortable win for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Jota revealed the searing humidity made it especially hard to play in. “That was the hardest games, in terms of humidity, I’ve had,” he added. “It’s hard to play in those conditions, with an intensity to the game, but we have to play whatever the conditions.
“We have to prepare ourselves and I think we did it well. The goals, of course, helped the team feel confident, to realise that we are working well.”
Jota was also pleased to link up with a new strike partner in 19-year-old Gibbs-White. “It was different – Raul plays in a different style, Morgan isn’t as strong as Raul is, but we linked together very well and tried to do the best we can,” he said.