Menu Close

Nuno: Wolves ace Podence talking ‘no sense’ over Champions League claim

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has rubbished Daniel Podence’s claim that the club can qualify for the Champions League this season as nonsense.

The 24-year-old Portuguese winger joined from Olympiakos for £16.9m this week and has scored in the competition for the Greek Superleague against Tottenham earlier this season.

But the Molineux head coach believes 5ft 5ins Podence, who can operate on either flank, is talking too big for now.

You know players when they come, they want to be nice!” said Nuno when asked about Podence’s ambition.

They want to say nice things. I remember one team-mate I had at a very small club who wasn’t aware of anything and said he wanted to fight to be champions.

We asked him as team-mates, ‘what are you saying?’ Someone told him to say that to be nice.

I think people have had enough stories of players coming in without saying that.

That’s not the case and it’s not our idea. We don’t compete to achieve a specific situation.

I almost feel like saying we have to forgive Podence because he hasn’t been here long.

If you ask one of the players already here for while, they will not say such things, for sure, because it doesn’t make sense.”

Wolves are seventh, six points off fourth-placed Chelsea in the battle for the final Champions League spot.

Nuno preached caution when asked how realistic it was for Wolves to make the top four.

We’re going to see – you never know. It’s about looking back a couple of years and seeing we’re growing and improving and hopefully, that can continue,” he added.

After, we’ll see where we are involved and how we have to prepare for a new challenge.

We compete to become better. Now we have to be better because the game is changing – it’s going to be a very tough second half of the season.

We have a lot of competition and some very tough opponents to face so we have to improve – it’s not about going here or there.

It’s about keep competing, keep improving and keep growing as a team.”

Podence is likely to be in the squad as Wolves take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Fit again centre back Willy Boly and forward Diogo Jota could also feature after recovering from a broken ankle and calf problem respectively.

New signing from Ecuador club SC Barcelona Leonardo Campana, 19, could make the bench after impressing Nuno in training.

Campana could fill the gap vacated by Benny Ashley-Seal, who has joined League One Accrington Stanley on loan for the rest of the season.