Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves will continue to use the Carabao Cup to blood youngsters.
Frustrated fans have criticised the head coach’s decision to make 11 changes and field one of the club’s youngest sides in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat at Villa in the Carabao Cup, which ended their eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
The head coach gave debuts to five players at Villa – right-sided defender Dion Sanderson, 19 and midfielder Chem Campbell, 16, from the start, and striker Benny Ashley-Seal, 20, midfielder Terry Taylor, 18, and 22-year-old defensive midfielder Flavio Cristovao from the bench, while Taylor Perry, 18, made his first start.
Previously, Nuno has handed chances to Academy graduates Bright Enobakhare, Morgan Gibbs-White, Connor Ronan, Donovan Wilson, Oskar Buur Rasmussen, Elliot Watt, Niall Ennis, Ryan Giles, Pedro Goncalves and Max Kilman.
And the Molineux chief suggested fans need to get used to the idea of him fielding youngsters in the competition.
“We unfortunately went out of a competition on Wednesday, the Carabao Cup, but ever since we arrived three seasons ago, we’ve always had the same approach,” said Nuno.
“We try to dedicate the space of competition for the young players, the youth players and the players who have less minutes in the competition.
“We don’t have to mix it – it’s not about that. We picked a team for that game, that’s it.”
First-team regulars Conor Coady and Matt Doherty travelled to the game and sat with the sell-out gathering of 5,500 Wolves supporters in the North Stand.
But Nuno said first teamers didn’t have a day off. “They didn’t rest, they worked very hard. There’s no resting,” he said.
Speculation suggests Wolves will splash the cash in January to replace the injured Boly. Nuno admits Wolves have the feelers out for reinforcements.
“We go game by game but we have to be aware of the situation,” said the boss.
“We’re in permanent dialogue with staff, we meet, we discuss, and we try to find (the right players) for when the right moment comes, which is January 1.
“So we still have a long time. Today is November 1, and tomorrow (Saturday, at Arsenal), we have a game.”
Wolves’ need for defensive strength has been highlighted with Ryan Bennett joining fellow centre back Boly on the sidelines.
Bennett, 29, has been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to Arsenal after aggravating the groin problem at Villa in midweek that forced him off against Southampton 13 days ago.
“It’s his groin. He felt it in the game against Southampton and had to come off, he recovered, he played against Villa and we appreciate the effort he made for the team,” explained Nuno.
“He was captain and he did well but he’s not OK, so he needs a couple of days now with the medical department trying to recover as soon as possible.”