Premier League • England

Wolves man Ait-Nouri sends message to rivals as top four race ‘not over’ yet

Wolves defender Rayan Ait-Nouri admitted he is disappointed with his side’s recent results – however believes the fight for a top four finish is still alive.

The 20-year-old has been a bright spark for Bruno Lage’s side throughout the campaign. The Frenchman has featured fifteen times already in the Premier League, and seems to be settling well to life in England. Now, Ait-Nouri is hoping that Wolves can finish the season well and fight for European football.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ait-Nouri admitted being disappointed with the recent losses against West Ham and Arsenal. However, the defender is hopeful his side can build on this for future performances.

He said: “Honestly, these were disappointments but we played well in those games.

“These were important matches but there are plenty games left to play – the season’s long.

“But it’s now down to us to remain focused to put in the best possible performances and results.

“We’ll remain concentrated, focused and we’ll try to have good games like we were having before.

“We lost our focus in the last 15 minutes, they scored twice. But it’s not over, we can still prove ourselves.”

Ait-Nouri compares life in England to France

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The youngster joined Wolves from Angers during the summer window in a deal worth £9.5 million. Ait-Nouri had also spent the previous season on loan at the Molineux.

But despite having been in England for 18 months, Ait-Nouri admits he still struggles with the West Midlands accent.

“The Wolverhampton accent is quite hard to understand,” he added.

“I also don’t understand everything captain [Conor] Coady says. But I’ve settled in well with a great group who work hard everyday. At the start it was hard, but it always is for a young player.

“There are lots of changes compared to France. The change in country, culture, food, weather makes it tough but I’ve adapted. Plus it’s a hard league with a lot of ambitious objectives.”

The worst managerial starts in recent years in English football

Injury-prone Wolves man closes in on return to training

Meanwhile, Wolves forgotten man Meritan Shabani is hoping to return to training next month.

Shabani has been out of action since early 2021, after picking up an injury on loan with VVV-Venlo.

The 22-year-old has not featured for Wolves since his senior debut in September 2019 against Reading in the Carabao Cup.

During that fixture Shabani ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, leading to a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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