Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves’ youngsters are ready to take on Besiktas.
The head coach is preparing to make multiple changes to his line-up for the visit of the Turkish title challengers on Thursday night.
Wolves have just returned from a three-day warm weather training camp in Marbella where seven youngsters were put through their paces alongside the established senior players.
Goalkeeper Andreas Sondegaard, centre back or midfielder Owen Otasowie, right wing back Oskar Buur Rasmussen, midfielders Luke Cundle and Taylor Perry, left wing back Lewis Richards and forward Chem Campbell all looked to impress in southern Spain.
Up until now, the only youngsters who have played for Wolves in Europe this season have been Ruben Vinagre, 20, and Max Kilman, 22, although Perry and Dion Sanderson – the latter didn’t travel to Marbella – have been unused substitutes.
Nuno believes this game is right for the others to stake their claim.
“The youngsters went with us and trained well and they are prepared,” said the Molineux boss.
“We can see that there is an option (for them) in this game and for sure there will be. They are ready.”
Besiktas, who have won their last seven domestic games, can’t qualify and have left key players at home.
Nuno insists he wants to win the group, which would allow Wolves to be seeded and be paired against a runner-up in the round of 32 draw next Monday (1pm) and give them the home leg second.
“Of course we have to compete and we have to play and it will be a tough game,” he added.
Nuno stressed the changes he makes are not based on the opposition, but the timing is right to allow different players the chance of European experience before Wolves host Tottenham on Sunday.
“It’s not based on our opponents,” he said. “Besiktas are always a very good team and they have good players.
“I’m aware some of those players haven’t travelled but for sure they will present themselves as a tough opponent, like we always expect. As for us, we have to make decisions.”
Nuno was pleased with the trip as a squad-bonding exercise.
“It’s always important. We’ve been doing this for three years and it’s something we appreciate and gives us the chance to spend 24 hours almost together,” he added.
“It allows to do different activities; the players have their own time and we have team activities, but more importantly, we are together and we train and prepare ourselves, firstly for this game, then for the future.
“The more useful thing is the time we spent together as a group.
“It was good for us. It was something we planned and it was good like always.”