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Nuno insists Wolves must raise their game after Braga setback

Nuno Espirito Santo admits Wolves must raise their standards after they kicked off their Europa League group stages with a 1-0 home defeat to Braga.

The loss was Wolves’ first in Europe this season after six straight wins but it was their third successive defeat after back-to-back reverses in the Premier League, and the second in six days at Molineux where they had previously been unbeaten in 15 games since January 2.

Wolves created enough chances to have won, with Patrick Cutrone missing two good openings while Leander Dendoncker was denied by goalkeeper Matheus. Ricardo Horta scored the only goal of the game in the 71st minute to punish a mistake by the recalled Ryan Bennett.

We controlled the game and managed well but one of the things we have to improve is to be patient and find a way to break down teams,” said head coach Nuno. “Individually and as a team we have to raise our standards again.

We are all disappointed. It was a tough game but I think we did enough (to get something). We performed, not perfectly, because it never is. But we controlled and managed the game.

Again we created and didn’t allow them many chances. Braga had one chance, we were organised defensively … and they scored. That’s basically the story of the game. I’m really disappointed because the boys worked hard but this is football.”

Bennett’s error followed two for Conor Coady to concede goals in Saturday’s 5-2 defeat against Chelsea and mistakes by Coady, Ruben Vinagre, Adama Traore, Bennett and Willy Boly in the 3-2 loss at Everton.

Nuno refuses to single out individuals and will concentrate on trying to get things right as a team, as preparations get underway for the return to Premier League action at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

All the goals are mistakes. If there was perfection there would be no goals. We have to remain calm and move on,” said the boss.

We have to analyse and see what’s wrong with the team. To avoid the analysis of the mistake – it’s based on the process and the organisation of the team, so let’s work on that aspect as a team.

We realise the situation we are in. This is important. The reality says we not performing well so we have to analyse it and find solutions in the team to improve.

Sometimes you have to look back and see what we are doing now. This cycle of games must always be a challenge for us to improve. That’s what I’m feeling now. Tomorrow I start working and finding solutions for Sunday against a tough team.”

Nuno believes credit must go to the opposition as well for working out how to make life difficult for Wolves after Braga sat and defended deep for much of the game before catching the hosts on the break for their goal.

We’re playing against good teams,” he added. “Sometimes you don’t do everything you can. It was one of our ideas to come into the game strong. But it is difficult to break down a team. We didn’t create much but the chance they had they scored. It’s a tough game.”

Nuno admits Wolves are not playing well and he is seeking a big improvement at Selhurst Park on Sunday. “The reality is we’re not performing well, we have to analyse and find solutions in the team to improve,” he said.

We must come strong on Sunday and we must react immediately. We have to take decisions and find solutions for the team because we have to come out of this situation and improve our performance so we can bounce back immediately.”