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Nuno tempts Wolves fans to dare to dream of Euro glory after Espanyol win

Nuno Espirito Santo has tempted Wolves fans to dare to dream of European glory after the 4-0 thrashing of Espanyol.

Diogo Jota’s second successive Europa League hat-trick and a stunning Ruben Neves volley gave Wolves a thumping victory to leave them with one foot in the round of 16 before they travel to Barcelona for the second leg next week.

Wolves reached the inaugural final of the competition in 1971-72 in its guise of the Uefa Cup.

BBC Midlands Today journalist Dan Pallett told Nuno that he had interviewed fans outside Molineux afterwards who said they thought the team could reach the final, which will be played in Gdansk in Poland in May.

“They (the fans) know me; now we have to recover and rest because we play Sunday. Then we can think about other things, but dreaming is for free,” said Nuno.

“But the tie is not over, now we have a couple of days to play Norwich (at home on Sunday), so we have to rest, recover and compete well. Then we can think about the second leg. Football is never over.”

Jota became only the third player to score successive trebles in the Europa League and first for eight years after Klaus-Jan Huntelaar for Schalke in 2012 to register back-to-back hat-tricks in this competition after his three goals in the 4-0 win over Besiktas in December.

The 23-year-old has now been directly involved in 14 goals in 11 European games this season.

“I’m happy for him, delighted because when a player scores three goals it means he has helped the team a lot,” added Nuno.

“He did a good job, not only offensively, but covering and was always organised.”

Neves scored one of the most memorable European goals at Molineux when he flicked up the ball and volleyed home a scorching 25-yard volley and Nuno added his praise.

“Neves also scored a beautiful goal – we took advantage of the talent of the players,” said the boss.

“It was a good performance. The first half was not so good – we didn’t create a lot of problems in possession and didn’t recover in the right areas.

“We adjusted in the second half, and scored some beautiful goals; it was a good evening.
“We competed well, and the result is the consequences of what we did.

“We were clinical and that’s what we want. Sometimes you create more and don’t score.

“It’s another clean sheet, defensively we did really well and everything starts from there, then we can let the players develop their talent up the pitch. I’m happy with the consistency of the team.”