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Wolves boss relieved to be back at Molineux and seeking home comforts

Nuno Espirito Santo wants Wolves to ‘play it again’ in a repeat of their last result against Slovan Bratislava.

Wolves recovered from Andraz Sporar’s 11th-minute opener in Bratislava to win 2-1 after Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez struck in a five-minute spell after the break.

That scoring pattern echoes the recoveries Wolves have made in the Premier League.

Nuno’s side have retrieved deficits six times so far this season to rescue 1-1 draws, while 86 per cent of their goals have come in the second half.

The Molineux head coach wants the same again at Molineux as in Slovakia, but without the drama of having to come from behind.

It’s important to start the games well – I will not say a fast start – but to start well, manage the game knowing the game has different moments,” said Nuno.

You have to defend, you have to control the ball, but we always want to start controlling and managing the game.

If you can be a better team during the first minutes, then I think we can impose that and sustain throughout the game. That is what we want.”

Nuno added: “It was important, and the performance was good, especially in the second half, but Bratislava is a very good team.

They caused us problems in the first half, we had to adjust, and we expect a tough game tomorrow against a very good team.

We have to try to compete, perform, knowing Slovan is going to be a very tough team.

We have to be organised, play and compete well, which is more important.

We want to play, we want to perform. We are back in Molineux after a while of not playing in front of our fans, and we want to perform well.”

We cannot expect things to happen, we have to make them happen, and we are ready for Slovan.”

Wolves return to Molineux after four consecutive away games in 10 days during which they have won 2-1 at Bratislava, drawn 1-1 at Newcastle, gone down 2-1 with a very youthful side at Villa in the Carabao Cup and drawn 1-1 at Arsenal.

Nuno admits he is relieved to be back at home for the first time in 19 days.

We’ve enjoyed it; we’ve embraced the challenge and are enjoying it very much,” said the boss. “Now we will be playing in front of our fans, which is how we want it.

Sometimes, even when we are away, they are a massive presence and they make us feel like we are in Molineux, but tomorrow we are in Molineux and it feels good.

It’s been four games and we’ve missed them. We want them close to us.”

Bratislava boss and one-time Albion loanee Jan Kozak acknowledged there have been a lot of changes for the better at Wolves since he was briefly at The Hawthorns on loan in 2005-06.

Since the last time I played here (in England) there were more home local players,” he said. “There has been more money put in, more sponsors and also more players from abroad.

So, better quality, more professional and it (Wolves) is definitely a top league club with good players. We are very pleased to play them, (they are) such a good team.”

Slovan were ordered to play their tie against Wolves behind closed doors after fans made racist chants against PAOK of Greece. But UEFA rules allowed under-14s to attend, and the game was a 20,000 sell-out, with Wolves fans only allowed in because Molineux officials donated the 200 VIP spaces to travelling supporters.

But around 1,000 fans are expected from Slovakia for the fourth group game.

Kozak is happy for their fans to watch their team in Europe after home fans were denied the chance to watch them against Besiktas and Wolves and only 200 travelled to Braga.

I’m really glad that we have got such great support,” he added. “The fans they deserve such a good match after such a long time in Europe. They will definitely help so I can only say on behalf of us we will do the maximum we can to play well.”