Nuno Espirito Santo has blasted the timing of the re-scheduled festive games for TV against Manchester City and Liverpool as ‘absurd, ridiculous, dangerous and impossible’ after Wolves were left facing two games in 45 hours.
Wolves host champions City on Friday December 27 at 7.45pm after the game was put back from Boxing Day for coverage on Amazon.
Their trip to Anfield to face Premier League leaders Liverpool is on Sunday, December 29 at 4.30pm and is being screened on Sky.
Head coach Nuno is furious Wolves have been left with 24 hours less to recover from the City game and prepare for the clash against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Wolves’ Europa League commitments mean they have already played 17 games this season to be the Premier League’s busiest team.
“It’s absurd, ridiculous. Wolves have more games already, the busiest team in all competitions, then we have to face this schedule of two games in 45 hours,” said Nuno.
“Forty-five hours, it’s impossible to play another game, it’s very hard.
“Someone has to say ‘look…’ It’s for the players – I’m not complaining about myself; I will be ready, but I don’t have to run 12 kilometres one and a half days before.
“Nobody is ready for that. Tell me one time when that has happened.
“We (normally) play Thursday and Sunday, but we’re going to play Friday and Sunday.
“Our players have to compete and we will compete, of course. But it’s tough, dangerous, very much.
“Nobody can understand it. I would like someone to explain to me why. But I keep coming to the same conclusion – it’s absurd.
“People who decide this don’t have the consciousness of the physical impact for the players during a game.
“Don’t tell me about Amazon and Sky. Look and protect the players, these are protagonists.”
City have raised concerns about playing twice in 46 hours over the festive period but Nuno feels Wolves are being more harshly treated.
“I don’t expect benefits, I just don’t expect to be the worst (treated), the most difficult one, when we were are the ones with more games,” he added.
“Broadcasters need players. People go to the stadiums to see players, to see the players they love, the players they like.”
Nuno insists it is the timing of the re-scheduled matches he is unhappy about, not the fact Wolves are facing the top two teams in the league less than two days apart.
“It’s not about the teams who you face, it’s about the time,” he stressed. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing against, it’s about us.
“Since we started the Europa League qualification, we’ve been playing Thursdays and Sundays.
“Then you go to this tough schedule, and we are the ones who have less time between games; it’s not understandable. I will ask for an explanation, I will try….but who am I?”
Nuno feels many managers in the top flight feel the same and he wants the Premier League to be firmer with broadcasters when it comes to scheduling fixtures, and the TV companies to be more considerate.
“I’m not the only manager speaking about this – English football and the Premier League has to look and ask if it makes sense,” he said.
“The Premier League has to look and say we can have another approach. This is what I expect.
“Someone should listen to us – all the managers, not only me, but all the managers are talking about this, not only now but the season before and the season before.
“You see what English clubs are facing in European competitions – one club plays a semi-final with two days’ preparation against a team who have been allowed to rest after their internal competition decided to give rest because they’re going to face a Champions League game.
“We have been competing in Europe and it’s been hard. I don’t expect a benefit, but let’s be fair and reasonable. It doesn’t make sense for me and the other clubs involved.”
Nuno is also unhappy that there has been no consultation process with the clubs.
“Someone come to me and tell me why Wolves are playing like this,” he said.
“If it’s valid, someone would say ‘look, we are thinking about this, what is your opinion?’
“Nobody asked us that. Nobody consulted me. They have just put the fixtures up and made it public and now we have to do it.
“Has someone had this under consideration, how soon we started the league and what is in front of us?
“If someone reasonable looked at the schedule and say ‘look…
“If someone is reasonable enough, they will visit me and tell me the ‘why’. If this ‘why’ is reasonable, I will understand it. But please, it doesn’t make much sense.”
Nuno added: “We will be prepared and we will be ready, but this is too much. Not only for us, but for everybody. It’s going to be very demanding for the players. After that, we just have to hope for the best.”