Bruno Lage expecting ‘big welcome’ for Nuno Espirito Santo on Wolves return

The Portuguese enjoyed a successful four years at Wanderers.

Sean Taylor
Saturday 21 August 2021 13:07
Nuno Espirito Santo enjoyed a successful four years in charge of Wolves (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Nuno Espirito Santo enjoyed a successful four years in charge of Wolves (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Wolves boss Bruno Lage expects former manager Nuno Espirito Santo to get a “big welcome” from Wanderers fans when he returns to Molineux on Sunday.

It is a quick return for Nuno, whose four years in charge ended at the end of last season.

The 47-year-old earned promotion to the Premier League as Championship title winners, recorded successive seventh-placed finishes in the top flight along with a run to the Europa League quarter-final while at the club, which he still holds dear.

Now in charge of Tottenham, Nuno has said this week that it will be “special” when he returns to his old stomping ground with his new club.

Sunday’s match will also be Lage’s first competitive home game in charge and while he expects his fellow Portuguese to receive a warm reception, he also wants the fans to get firmly behind his team.

“He will get a big welcome, him and his staff,” said Lage. “Like I’ve said before, what he did here was amazing. From Championship to Premier League and to play in the UEFA Cup, it was four amazing years.

“I think the fans will give him a big welcome but after the whistle they will support us, to help us to win the match.

“They cannot forget what he did here, but after the whistle they will be behind me and my team. We’re working hard to continue to bring success to the club.”

Asked if Nuno’s in-depth knowledge of Wolves will be an advantage, Lage replied: “It can help, but these days everyone knows everything about the opponent.

“The way we study the opponents, the way we can see the games, we can analyse everything.

“I think we are equal. But, of course, he knows our players better than the players he has at Tottenham at this point.”

Lage’s maiden home game as Wolves boss could see Raul Jimenez make his first competitive appearance at Molineux for nine months.

The striker returned after recovering from a fractured skull as Wanderers began the season with a 1-0 defeat at Leicester last weekend. The Mexico international is expected to keep his place in the starting line-up.

Defensive duo Yerson Mosquera and Willy Boly remain out with hamstring injuries, along with Pedro Neto, Jonny (both knee) and Daniel Podence (groin).