Jonny Castro Otto has revealed Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is his very own Gladiator when it comes to learning the lingo.
Not only does head coach Nuno help Jonny on the pitch, but he is the Spaniard’s Molineux mentor when it comes to improving his English.
When the 25-year-old arrived from Atletico Madrid, initially on loan in July 2018 before he became a permanent signing for £18m last January, his knowledge of English was limited, and gleaned through watching the popular TV series ‘Gladiators’.
But Nuno has helped him develop his language skills so he can happily converse with his team-mates in English now.
“Nuno helped me the most last year with the Hispanic language – he talks Portuguese and Spanish, and in the end, it helped me adapt,” said Jonny. “Overall, it’s down to the team – I’m here, so we speak English.”
Regarding Gladiators, Jonny explained: “I watch TV series and things like that, and that helps. The hardest thing for me is speaking.
“I had a teacher who was helping me with learning English, but then my child was born, so most of my time was spent with that.
“Now I’ve got more time, I’m going to get back into my lessons to try to speak. I can understand it better, but it’s speaking where I need to improve.”
Language aside, Nuno’s ability to improve players is well known – anyone just needs to witness the improvement of players such as Conor Coady, Matt Doherty and Adama Traore to see that. It’s something Jonny recognises too.
“I think Nuno is a manager who can get the best out of every player,” he told the Wolves matchday programme. “He is confident about the players. Since I came here, I wanted to prove myself.”
Now the language barrier has been broken down, Jonny is happier in his surroundings and settled in Wolverhampton.
The former Celta Viga defender, who has netted twice in 71 games for Wolves in all competitions, admits he would like to be on the scoresheet more often, like opposite wing back Matt Doherty, but says the main objective is improvement.
“I’m comfortable here, I feel really happy here. I feel very much at home, but the thing is I want to keep improving,” he said.
“It’s more important for me to keep improving, and, although I’d like to score more goals, the main thing for me is to continue to help the team.
“Right now, I’m playing almost all the games in the league and I am happy.”
Having spent all his career in La Liga before coming to England, one of the things that Jonny loves about the Premier League is the atmosphere at the grounds – especially Molineux.
“I think that the atmosphere is different,” he said. “Fans are involved (in games) and the stadiums are full every time.
“I think that makes the Premier League something special and makes you enjoy it more.
“For me, it’s a huge pleasure to play at Molineux. They’re an incredible set of fans and they help us a lot to do what we want to do.
“We’d really like to repay them, to say thanks with three points because they’re always supporting us.”
Wolves are five games without a win going into Saturday’s trip to in-form Southampton.
Jonny stressed the need to pick up points from teams below them, adding: “I still think we can improve, I think, yes, it’s got better, and we’ve improved from last season.
“But in the future we want to continue building on that and an important aspect of it is to carry on beating teams lower than us – we can do more of that this season.”