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Raul vows Wolves will improve as Nuno admits strike partnership needs time

Raul Jimenez has vowed Wolves will learn from their defeat at Everton as Nuno Espirito Santo acknowledged the club’s most expensive strike partnership needs time.

Jimenez, the club’s £32.6m record signing, was paired up front with £20m Patrick Cutrone for the first time from the start in the Premier League as Diogo Jota began on the bench. The pairing tasted mixed fortunes in the 3-2 defeat, with Jimenez scoring his eighth goal of the season to make it 2-2 and receiving a boot in the face for his troubles, while Cutrone was superbly denied by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at 2-1 down.

Not the result we wanted but we are gonna do better next time, just keep looking forward and work hard,” tweeted Jimenez.

Head coach Nuno admitted there is room for improvement for Jimenez and Cutrone as a partnership as it’s early days for the pair.

It (partnership) was good but it has to improve,” said the boss. “That comes with time, it comes with knowledge and complicity and some time together. Having all the squad healthy and available is fantastic for us and it’s down to us to choose the options.”

After eating up the miles on the pitch, Jimenez is now preparing to clock them up in the air. He joins the Mexico squad for their friendlies away to the United States on Saturday in the early hours of Saturday morning (UK time) in New Jersey and Argentina in Texas in the early hours of Wednesday, September 11, before returning for the Premier League visit of Chelsea three days later on the Saturday.

Fans have expressed concerns about the striker burning himself out after playing a 336-day season last term after which he had just two weeks’ rest before playing for Wolves in the Europa League.

Nuno wants his squad to relish being so busy but equally wants his players to be rested to stay fresh. “More than 50 per cent of our players go away with national teams,” he said. “The players deserve to rest and recover well, then we’re going to start again knowing every game in front of us is a challenge.

We want to embrace it – Thursday, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday. We are always trying to grow.”

Matt Doherty misses out for Ireland as he undergoes minor knee surgery but Portugal’s Rui Patricio, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota have been called up, Leander Dendoncker is with Belgium, Romain Saiss has joined Morocco, Morgan Gibbs-White is with England Under-21s, and Ruben Vinagre and Pedro Neto have been selected for Portugal Under-21s duty.