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Boss Nuno urges Wolves to strike the first blow

Nuno Espirito Santo wants Wolves to start striking the first blow so they can dictate games more.

Wolves retrieved a deficit to draw 1-1 for the sixth time in the Premier League this season with Saturday’s stalemate at Arsenal, while 86 per cent of their goals have come in the second half of games.

Head coach Nuno is delighted with his team’s character in coming back to claim points so often, but he wants them to take the game to the opposition more from the start.

The way we fought back was good, it’s fantastic, but we must change the cycle,” said the boss.

We must try to harm first – that will help us because we have a lot of games ahead of us.

We’ve already played too many games and what we’re expecting is more matches, so managing the games is always better when you control the result and the other team takes more risks – but that’s the next step. Let’s try to keep on going.

I’m not frustrated, I’m happy, but we must look at the aspects of the game we need to work on to make it better for next time.”

Wolves ended the Arsenal game with 25 efforts on goal compared to the opposition’s 11. Nuno was happy with how his team applied themselves.

We want to go to every stadium and play with our identity,” he added.

I’m happy because we worked hard, we maintained and showed character, and this is the growing process we want.

I think we caught Arsenal out (with the quick throw-in for the goal), and we finished the game on the front foot. We had chances and every time we went on the break there was a feeling we could harm more.

The boys tried, they engaged a lot of people into attack, but it didn’t come.

Striker Raul Jimenez has now scored 11 goals this season in all competitions after his equaliser at the Emirates. Only two Premier League players, Manchester City pair Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero with 13 each, have scored more.

Nuno is full of admiration for the £32.6m club record signing. “He’s a very good player, he’s a very good man – a fantastic boy,” said the boss.

He works very hard, he believes in himself and he works for the team. I am delighted, and we are delighted to have him.”

The Molineux chief was anxious Jimenez didn’t share all the limelight however, as he highlighted the contributions of the whole team, and the supporters.

But not just Raul; Diogo (Jota), Adama (Traore), Ruben (Neves), Joao Moutinho), Rui (Patricio) – everybody,” he added. “The team spirit these boys have, the way they gel, the way they work for each other is amazing and this is how we make our strengths, alongside with our fans.

They were cheering up and supporting us, so let’s try to make this journey together and make it successful.”

Under Nuno, Wolves are unbeaten in their last three games against Arsenal as they continued their impressive record against the established top six that includes wins over Liverpool, Manchester United twice, Manchester City and Tottenham away and Chelsea at home in the last 18 months.

Nuno insists it’s not about upping their game to play the bigger clubs, but to be ready to match any team all of the time.

We enjoy every game, every game in all the competitions,” he said. “For us, it’s not about the demand or if you are up or down, no, it’s compete, compete, compete – over and over again – always ready to compete.

Even with a short squad, we are always going to be ready and this is our spirit, it’s not about ups and downs, it’s about competing.

Let’s compete and sustain this performance we have. That is the main challenge in front of us.”