Nuno Espirito Santo has urged Wolves to go back to the future as he tries to arrest their slump.
The Molineux head coach wants his players, who are crestfallen after three defeats, to remember what got them from mid-table in the Championship to seventh place in the Premier League and into the Europa League group stages in little over two years as he tries to restore them to winning ways at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“They (players) cannot have any doubts – the way we worked and the way we played is what got us here,” stressed Nuno. “This is what got us here from the Championship to the Europa League. No doubts the way is clear.
“Those who came here have to improve, as do those who have been here longer than all of them. It’s a small squad so we need everyone to raise their standards and perform.”
Wolves will be hoping for a repeat of last season’s result at Selhurst Park when Matt Doherty scored the only goal. But it won’t be easy as Palace are the only team in the Premier League not to have conceded at home this season after a 0-0 draw against Everton and a 1-0 win over Villa.
“We can use something to work on but they came to Molineux and they won,” said Nuno. “This is about the team, what is Crystal Palace now? Can we find their weakness? Can we continue what we did last season?
“It will be very tough – they are a team who has been in the Premier League for a while now. They have a lot of complexity, Zaha and good midfielders. We have to challenge ourselves but Palace is tough. There is no easy game in football.”
Nuno has also attempted to keep a perspective on the current dip in form after over two years of virtual continuous success. “Not only at Wolves, life is made of up and downs,” he said. “To sustain is the most difficult thing, what can do you when you are down? Go up again. It’s a reality.”
Wolves will be keen to improve their finishing at Selhurst Park after wasted chances cost them dearly in Thursday’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to Braga. Patrick Cutrone missed two chances while Leander Dendoncker was denied by keeper Matheus.
Nuno admitted Cutrone needs to polish up his first touch to become more clinical in front of goal. “Not composure, but the final touch, the chances we created is about one touch,” said Nuno. “Cutrone did well and sometimes the ball goes inside (the post), sometimes it doesn’t. If you create chances you have to work on your clinical touch.”