After a tough fight against Olympiacos, Wolverhampton Wanderers go into the Europa League’s next round and Nuno Espirito Santo admitted that making it this far means a lot after a ‘crazy’ season. The Molineux side face Sevilla in the quarter-finals with Julen Lopetegui’s men favourites to win.
When Wolverhampton Wanderers were promoted in the summer of 2018, few expected that two years later, the Molineux side would be in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. But that’s exactly where they sit with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side set to face record winners of the competition Sevilla in the quarter-finals. However, it took them a fight to reach this stage with Olympiacos putting up a sensational fight in the second-leg.
Yet thanks to good defending and a few beyond impressive saves from Rui Patricio, Wolves are through with their next game set to take place in Germany. But after what has been an overly long season, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo admitted that his side getting this far means a lot. He admitted that his pre-match talk was to ask the team to make their tough journey so far “worth it” and them reaching the quarter-finals is worth everything.
“It means a lot. We started in Molineux against Crusaders more than a year ago — everybody has to realise that it is long, long, long — and we finish in Molineux with a fantastic victory that allows us in the last eight of Europe. It is huge; everybody has to realise the effort of the players. I don’t know how many miles we’ve made this season. We’ve been to Asia. It’s crazy and that’s what I said to the boys: make it worth it, and today we made it worth it. We’re going to Germany to compete,” Nuno said in his post-match interview.
Their next game, a single-legged quarter-final against Sevilla in Germany, will be game number 59 of a long season for Wolves and the first time they’ve reached this far in a European competition for almost fifty years. Yet despite that, it has been a long season for the Molineux side and Nuno Espirito Santo admitted as much although he also confessed that he is proud of his team. The Wolves boss also added that their next game will be a big challenge for them as Sevilla are the favourites to lift the Europa League.
“I’m proud of the way we do things, how we do things. This is of course the [latest] achievement the boys made but we started with a big achievement of going up [promotion]. Nobody can forget we started with these players in the Championship. We will always try to progress. The boys need to rest. They need to recover well. We fly to Germany and let’s see how far we go.
"We have tough opponents in front of us. It is exciting to be in the last eight. We started before everybody, against Crusaders. It is a tough period and Seville is a big team with big players and a good manager. It is a big challenge for us — let’s challenge ourselves,” he added.