Nuno confident Premier League will grant Wolves delayed start

Wolves face Olympiakos in the second leg of their Europa League last 16 on Thursday. POOL/AFP/File/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS

Premier League bosses will permit those clubs still involved in European competition to begin their domestic campaign later than the scheduled September 12 date, says Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

The 46-year-old Portuguese followed Chelsea manager Frank Lampard — whose side are in Champions League action at the weekend — in calling for a delayed start to their season as the players are facing a shorter break than those not involved in European competition.

Nuno’s side host Greek outfit Olympiakos on Thursday in their Europa League last 16 second-leg clash, with Wolves holding the advantage having scored an away goal in the 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture.

That was back in March before the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Wolves’ European campaign started over a year ago.

The exact details for the Premier League schedule for next season will not be decided until later in August.

It has already been decided in principle that all clubs should be given a minimum amount of time off, including those still in Europe.

“The Premier League should acknowledge teams involved in Europe that players require more time to recover,” Nuno said Wednesday.

“We are playing in August. I am sure they will adjust the schedule.”

Nuno, whose side missed out on the Europa League for next season after Tottenham Hotspur leapfrogged them into sixth on the last day of the campaign, is happy to have advanced as far as they have done as it has given young players valuable experience.

“Being involved in European competition and playing well in the Premier League brought us a lot of knowledge,” said Nuno.

“The balance of the squad with a lot of international players has been good. The challenge can make us better.

“It was inspiring experience for the young players to come with us for the away Euro games. It is part of our process.”

Nuno says the away goal is welcome but that will not affect the way they play the second leg.

“We have to approach this as a new game,” he said.

“What happened in the first game doesn’t matter. We need a lot of commitment and belief. We have to commit ourselves to every challenge.

“We have been good on that. Maybe it is lucky or unlucky that we have all the players available.

“We don’t need to win. We want to compete and achieve our goals.”


 

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