Nuno highlights ‘very bad’ aspect of Wolves display in West Brom defeat

Date published: Saturday 16th January 2021 3:59 - Sam Charlton

Nuno Espirito Santo Wolves TEAMtalk

Nuno Espirito Santo pulled no punches when reflecting on Wolves’ defensive display in their defeat to West Brom on Saturday. 

Despite leading at half time, Wolves were beaten 3-2 in the Black Country derby at Molineux as their bad run of form continued.

They now have just one win from their last eight Premier League games and are 14th in the table.

As well as losing Raul Jimenez to injury, a fragility at the back is also costing them this season. They have leaked 29 goals already, and have conceded the first goal in each of their last nine league outings.

West Brom’s opener came after just 8 minutes, immediately putting Wolves on the back foot. And although they recovered from that, an even worse opening to the second half hurt them dearly.

And their weakness at the back was Santo’s main source of annoyance after the game.

“Defensively we started the game badly,” he told BT Sport. “We reacted well, but the restart of the second half was very bad.

“Again, conceding goals makes our task very hard.”

Semi Ajayi goal West Brom TEAMtalk

 

The Baggies’ second goal came from a long throw-in. Kyle Bartley flicked it onto Semi Ajayi, who guided it over Rui Patricio for the equaliser.

Conceding from a set-piece was another frustration for the Wolves boss, who had made his team aware of that danger.

“We knew, we knew…,” he despaired. “We knew that West Brom were going to try to do these kind of things from throw-ins, long balls and set pieces. But we didn’t defend well.”

Coady substitution explained

Santo also explained his surprising call to hook captain Conor Coady midway through the second half.

Coady committed the foul that gave West Brom the penalty that ultimately won the game. Just minutes later he was taken off in a move that raised eyebrows.

It was the first time the Liverpool-born defender has been substituted by Wolves in the top flight and there was no sign of injury.

But the Portuguese coach didn’t see it as a big deal, insisting it was purely a tactical move with his side chasing the game.

Asked what his thiking was, he said: “Options, options.

“We had Romain [Saiss] and [Willy] Boly, and we decided to go with Rayan [Ait Nouri] the left back. Simple decision.”

 

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