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Pressure on Wolves and Braga just want to have fun – boss

Braga boss Ricardo Sá Pinto claims all the pressure is on Wolves for Thursday’s Europa League clash at Molineux and says he wants his team to ‘have fun’.
The 46-year-old attempted to deflect attention away from his side during his press conference on Wednesday tea-time at Molineux where his squad had trained in preparation for the opening Group K game.
“Wolverhampton have different expectations to us; they play at home, have players of great quality and have got a very different budget,” said Sá Pinto. “We haven’t got any pressure at all and I want the team to have fun and above all to be ambitious.”
Braga have endured a similar start to their league season as Wolves. Sá Pinto, who was only appointed this summer, is supposedly under pressure already with his side third from bottom after four points from their first five games after finishing fourth last season.
The former Sporting forward is full of respect for counterpart Nuno Espirito Santo and his players, some of whom he has experience of working with.
“Nuno has done a great job, excellent,” he said. “They got promoted to the Premier League, finished in seventh place and qualified for the Europa League.
“He has excellent players at his disposal. Wolves are a team with a very high level and have great players with a lot of experience. I worked with Patricio (at Sporting in 2012 as coach), I played with Moutinho (at Sporting as a player in 2005), Ruben Neves is a youngster with incredible talent.”
The Braga chief called for a strong referee because he feels the fans will intimidate the officials. “We have to take into account the atmosphere, the fans will be on top pressuring the referee,” he said. “We know Wolves will impose themselves.
“There will be two teams that are yet to lose in this competition. We will encounter a difficult atmosphere, with a full stadium of supporters who will motivate the hosts a lot.”
Sá Pinto admits there will be little left to chance with so much knowledge across the teams through the Portuguese connection. “Nowadays, there are no secrets,” he said. “We have the information on them, they have information on us, there are no more surprises in football. Every team knows each other very well. Wolves like to impose their own tempo on the game, based on great intensity and good use of set-pieces.”
Like Wolves, Braga have a 100 per cent record from their Europa League qualifiers so far this season. And Sá Pinto does not want to leave Molineux empty-handed.
“We want to win points, three points would be great, and we will do everything to make it happen,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes. We don’t want to leave without points. One would be good as well. I have a strategy for the game.
“It’s not about position, it’s about having a good game. Wolves are in similar position to us but it’s just the start. We are both going into the game unbeaten in qualifying.”
Sa Pinto is no stranger to controversy. Last month he was ordered off a plane due to take off from Faro airport after alleged bad behaviour, which he denied. In March 1997 as a player at Sporting, he was banned from football for a year for attacking Portugal coach Artur Jorge and knocking him to the ground because he was apparently angry at being dropped from the national squad.