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Nuno hands Wolves Christmas Day off – but says festive period is a survival mission

Nuno Espirito Santo believes Wolves’ task over the festive period is simply a survival mission after handing his players a Christmas present.

Wolves face the toughest run of any Premier League team as they have to play champions Manchester City then runaway leaders Liverpool within the space of 45 hours on Friday and Sunday.

Nuno has handed his squad Christmas Day off, but only because the City game was put back 24 hours from Boxing Day.

But the head coach reckons their hectic schedule leaves them thinking they just need to get through it intact.

We have to survive. Now we train, then we play Man City, then we will see. Let’s try to survive,” said Nuno.

The programme is ready: We train today, we train tomorrow, we have the 25th off, it’s Christmas Day, so everybody will have a chance to be with their families, and then we return on the 26th and we play on the 27th, we recover on the 28th – let’s see how – and we play on the 29th.

If we were playing on the 26th, it wold be impossible to have the 25th off, but in this way, I think it’s good.”

Nuno believes the players will reap the benefits of having Christmas with their families rather than training.

It’s very important to be with our families and the players will enjoy it for sure,” he added.

It’s a special time for everybody. I think everybody wants to join their families and have some quality time, but we know at the same time we have to compete.

I think we can separate everything to enjoy ourselves. We will have time to spend with our families.”

Wolves have been handed the toughest schedule but Nuno believes all Premier League teams have cause for complaint.

All the teams have strong cases. But of all the teams we are the team who has less hours (between games) in this period – 45 hours between two games and 112 hours between three matches, including New Year’s Day,” he said.

So it’s going to be very tough. I think all the managers are concerned and rightly so.

I’m particularly concerned because it’s absurd and it doesn’t make sense. The schedule is absurd.

It is a big burden for all of the teams. We have two games in three days.

I don’t know why Wolves have less hours between games but it’s a concern for all the managers and all the players.”