Fernandez urges Espanyol to be ‘brave and daring’ in second leg against Wolves

Abelardo Fernandez accepts his Espanyol side face an “almost impossible” mission to overturn a 4-0 deficit against Wolves but insists they will not go down without a fight.

Diogo Jota’s hat-trick and Ruben Neves’ thunderbolt secured a 4-0 home win at Molineux last week to put Nuno Espirito Santo’s side firmly in the box seat heading into Thursday’s Europa League round-of-32 second leg in Barcelona.

But Abelardo, whose team lost 2-1 to relegation rivals Valladolid on Sunday to leave them bottom of LaLiga and five points from safety, has refused to give up hope of an improbable comeback.

He told a press conference: “It’s almost impossible – we know that – but we will be looking to put up a good fight.

“We need to score four goals and not concede any to take it to extra time. It’s tough but you never know. If we could get to half-time 2-0 up then maybe we will give ourselves a chance.

“I wish we could make it to the next round. We have to fight but also we have to a get a good feeling back among the supporters.

“We need to be brave and daring – what the fans expect – and then who knows?”

Abelardo indicated he could make a number of personnel changes for Thursday’s game.

“Some players will be left out for technical reasons and some are injured and I don’t want to risk them,” he said.

“We are going to try and win the game. We didn’t have a good game at Wolves but 4-0 wasn’t a fair result. We didn’t like the game and we certainly didn’t like the result.

“We want to recover the good feeling among the supporters but we know it’s going to be very hard to turn this one around.

“Our players were very down after Sunday, losing a game against our league rivals, but we met up on Monday and the feeling was more positive.

“We were disappointed and I understand that. We have to win seven games to stay up and there is only 13 games left so there’s not much time. We have to give 300 per cent every match.”