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'Wolves not focusing on Premier League table' - Nuno looking at growth, not Europa League battle

1:02 am AEST 24/4/19
Nuno Espirito Santo Wolves 2018-19
After an impressive season back in the top flight, qualifying for Europe is not the priority for the Portuguese coach

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has said that his side are not looking at the table with just four games left in the Premier League.

The club are currently in a race for seventh place, which could secure them a Europa League spot for next season if Manchester City were to win the FA Cup.

The West Midlands side have impressed since being promoted to the top flight at the end of last season, with Premier League wins over Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United, and an FA Cup run that saw them reach the semi-finals after knocking out Liverpool and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils.

Ahead of Wednesday's home game against Arsenal, Nuno explained his side are more focused on growth, than their final finishing position, saying: “There’s no reference to the table, the reference is to grow, to improve game by game. Every game is a chance to improve. We have a fantastic opportunity to become a better team, trying new things, but at the same time trying to make players grow on the idea that we want regarding the future.

“This is what we focus on until the end, there’s no thinking about the summer or next season, it’s a game by game process.

“It’s a clear idea that we’ve been building since day one. We started in the Championship, nothing has changed. There’s no reference of the table, it’s a squad and group of people who want to work together and improve every day.”

The Wolves boss has used a small squad of players to positive effect this season, relying on key players, like Diego Jota and Raul Jimenez, week in, week out, raising concerns of tiredness, which Nuno has dismissed.

He added: “It’s not a question of tiredness. Yes, it’s a small squad. We started with 18 players, two went out on loan (in January), and we stayed with 16 plus the goalkeepers, with the back-up of the Under-23s.

“Why we did it is because we believe that the more time they spend together, and the more chance they have to compete together, they will become better. It’s a belief.”

Wolves are currently 10th in the Premier League table, and are only one point behind seventh-placed Everton. After facing Arsenal on Wednesday, they have a trip to Watford on Saturday, and then Fulham at home, before their final match of the season against title hopefuls Liverpool at Anfield.