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Nuno Espirito Santo admits Wolves need more players

Nuno Espirito Santo, Wolves, Europa League
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Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo called for reinforcements following the club’s Europa League quarter-last exit.

Wolves’ 2019/20 campaign finally ended on Tuesday night after 383 days and 59 games, though not in the way they would’ve liked.

A late dip in form in the Premier League left Nuno’s side to settle for a seventh-place finish. That, coupled with Arsenal’s FA Cup success, cost them qualification for European football next season. Their last chance was in winning the Europa League.

But Lucas Ocampos’ 88th-minute header in Tuesday’s quarter-final clash secured Sevilla a 1-0 win over Wolves, ending their European hopes in the process.

“It’s a small squad. We must be very proud,” Nuno told BT Sport.

“Now we need to make good decisions so we cannot make mistakes as we did before. We need more players to help us.”

Wolves used the least amount of players in the Premier League this season on 21, which was at least three fewer than anybody else. Eight of their players also took part in 50 or more games.

So it wasn’t surprising to see the squad look exhausted in Duisburg. They had a quick start, put pressure on Sevilla, and won a penalty only for Yassine Bounou to save Raul Jimenez’s effort before fading.

The goalkeeper’s save, meanwhile, seemed questionable as he appeared off his line and defender Diego Carlos entered the box before Jimenez took the penalty. However, VAR saw no infringement.

For Wolves now, though, the concern lies in the brief break before the 2020/21 Premier League begins on September 12.

“It’s a short break, you cannot stop and start again, we now have to prepare well this period we have to rest,” said Nuno.

“We are here because we did some really good things. We made the same classification with more points.”

Keeping star players like Jimenez this summer will be critical as Wolves seek a quick return to Europe next season.

Nuno added: “European football is something we chase, because we want to improve.

“The Premier League is challenging enough, it’s almost like playing in the Champions League. Nothing can disturb the work the players are doing. They will be ready for the next one.”