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Nuno urges Wolves to make history and join the greats

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo
Prolific Wolves striker Ted Farmer scored eight goals in nine games in the flying start of 1962-63.

Nuno Espirito Santo is urging Wolves to make history and join club greats by avoiding defeat at Brighton on Sunday.

Wolves are aiming to make it 11 games unbeaten in the league to equal their longest unbeaten run in the top flight since September 1962.

Stan Cullis’s side topped the League at the time after a storming start to the season that brought eight wins and three draws, with favourites such as Bobby Thomson, Ron Flowers, Terry Wharton, Ted Farmer and Jimmy Murray.

That team eventually finished fifth, but it’s a record the club has only equalled once (1972-73) in 57 years since and bettered just once, by Bill McGarry’s side who finished fourth in 1970-71. The current sequence is the best since January 1972.

We are proud but we have to keep on going. That is our philosophy,” said Nuno.

What we did before can only serve as motivation for growing, improving and competing.

We want to keep on improving. The most difficult thing is to sustain the performance and be able to do that game after game.

I’m very happy with that but it does not mean anything. We have to compete, to play; now is the time to prepare ourselves.”

Standing in Wolves’ way of history are one of their biggest bogey teams.

They have only beaten the Seagulls once in their last 10 meetings – and even that victory was secured by a Brighton player – Wolverhampton-born Connor Goldson’s own goal on New Year’s Day in 2016.

Wolves have only won once in five trips to the AMEX Stadium, where they were relegated to League One in May 2013, while they have only scored one other goal there – through Rajiv Van La Parra’s equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw in March 2015 – and have beaten them away just twice in 15 games.

Brighton have taken the handbrake off under new boss and former Albion left back Graham Potter, with a more expansive style of play this season which brought them a 2-1 win at Arsenal on Thursday night, as well as a 3-0 home win against Tottenham.

Nuno and his staff have been painstakingly going through footage trying to find chinks in their armour.

He said at his press conference on Friday: “We saw the Arsenal game and we’re going to see it again today and tomorrow, trying to get not only that game, but all the details we can give the players on Brighton.

I am going to keep on watching it – not only that game, but all the games that we can extract something useful from, we will try to do it.

So, we have to analyse and figure out the best way to compete, knowing it’s going to be challenging for us. They have their strengths, but they have weaknesses.

Brighton is a very good team; they get good results, and we know it’s going to be very tough and very demanding.
“They have a good manager, and good players who play well.

Every team that changes the manager, naturally the idea, the way they play changes.

You can see a difference in Brighton now. I will not say it’s more offensive or defensive, but it’s a different idea.”

Brighton, just like Wolves did last season, are proving that being bolder can earn you positive results against the established top six.

That’s the Premier League and it shows the quality of every team – the table doesn’t mean anything,” said Nuno.

At this moment, the quality of the competition is so demanding, the squads are so good, and so are the players and the managers.

It’s also a game, so anybody can beat anybody in the Premier League. It’s obvious and clear, so we have to be really focused, like Brighton, like all of the teams.

Wolves should at least be more refreshed after Nuno rewarded the players for Wednesday’s 2-0 win over West Ham with their first day off in three weeks as they prepare for their 29th game of the season in all competitions.

It was necessary, a need, a well deserved day off – I hope they enjoyed it,” said the Portuguese.

It was good. We know we have had a very tight schedule but it was a rest day that was inside the programme.

It is important they understand a day off with a tight turnaround for Sunday is a day to rest and recover.

It is a day to spend time with you family at home, rest, eat well and join us again.”

Wolves’ current run is in contrast to their mediocre start to the league campaign where they picked up just three points out of their first 15 available to lie second bottom.

Nuno explained: “Many circumstances happen. We started the season very early.

There were numerous factors – tough opponents and games, a lot of emotional feelings. But we did well and we competed.”