Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves will be ready despite a 6,370-mile round trip to Armenia to play FC Pyunik next Thursday, three days before face Leicester in their Premier League opener.
Thursday’s 4-1 win at Crusaders, which gave them a 6-1 aggregate win, set Wolves up for a trip to Yerevan, near the border with Iran, in the Europa League third qualifying round. It will come just 72 hours before the league curtain-raiser at Leicester on Sunday.
“We have to prepare and recover well for the trip,” said head coach Nuno after his 100th game in charge of Wolves. “It will be tough but we’ll be ready. We have to prepare it well and start thinking about it now. We know what we’re going to face.”
Nuno admits they will have to manage Raul Jimenez carefully after he limped off with an ankle injury 10 minutes following the restart after scoring twice in the first half. His brace sandwiched Ryan Bennett’s header before Jordan Forsythe’s own goal 12 minutes from time sealed a comfortable victory, after Paul Heatley gave Crusaders a dream start.
“He (Jimenez) didn’t have too much time without (playing),” said Nuno. “We have to be careful to manage the right moments for him to get back in shape and get the full fitness we want. Let’s see (how he is), it was his foot, let’s see how it is.”
Nuno was pleased with the way Wolves reacted after falling behind early to equalise within a minute and then go on to dominate the game. “It was tough, we knew we were going to find a very organised team,” he said. “They were difficult to break, we moved the ball and suddenly got a goal. That moment the team was not expecting that to react immediately, we acted very good to the situation of the own goal.
“We reacted fast and good and after that managed the game much better. It’s about getting ready for what’s coming for us in the future. We try to improve and take any chance we have.
“They did their best but I think we controlled the game. We tried things, tried combinations, tried inside and outside and find ways to score. I think we did a good job on that aspect – we scored goals.”