LONDON – Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo said on Monday he was pleased with the strong identity the team have forged after working their way up from the second-tier Championship to competing in Europe in the space of three years.
Wolves were 15th in the Championship when Santo took charge in May 2017 and the Molineux club are preparing for their first European quarter-final appearance in 48 years as they face Sevilla in Tuesday’s Europa League quarter-final tie.
“It’s been a long journey, not only this season. A long journey that started three seasons ago in the Championship. It’s basically the same group of players,” Portuguese Nuno told reporters.
“We’ve been able to create an identity. It’s one of the most precious things in football – having an identity, based on a style of play and how we deal and socialise with our rules and tasks, how we deal with problems that happen.
“Trying to create a team, recruiting players, some take time, some not, but this is what it’s all about. We have to manage the result and I’m very proud of how we’ve done things and now I can say we have our own identity.”
Setting off for the @EuropaLeague final eight.
— Wolves (@Wolves) August 9, 2020
Nuno added that Wolves, who just missed out on a Europa league qualifying spot for next term when they finished seventh in the Premier League, are expecting a tough test against five-times Europa League winners Sevilla in Duisburg, Germany.
“I think all the teams involved in this competition know each other very well,” Santo said. “Sevilla are a good team, we’ve been analysing and know of their talent and quality.
“Good players, a good manager (Julen Lopetegui) – big challenge for us.”