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Nuno says he put birthday celebrations aside in bid to end Wolves’ winless run

Nuno Espirito Santo File Photo
(Image credit: Gareth Copley)

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo found little reason to celebrate his birthday as he battles to end his side’s winless run in the Premier League.

Wolves reached the fifth round of the FA Cup with victory over non-league Chorley on Friday, but have not tasted victory in the league since beating Wednesday’s opponents Chelsea 2-1 at Molineux on December 15.

Chelsea’s own poor run culminated in the sacking of manager Frank Lampard on Monday, the same day as Nuno’s 47th birthday.

“There’s not many things to celebrate now, the moment is not the best,” Nuno said with a smile. “It’s work, work, work.”

Nuno said he was sad to hear of Lampard’s departure but is not expecting that to make things any easier for his side at Stamford Bridge.

“It will be equally very tough for us because we are talking about a very good team, a squad full of talented players, so we are aware that it is going to be very demanding and very tough for us,” he added.

“It affects us in that we don’t know exactly how Chelsea are going to present themselves, but what we know is the quality and the talent of the Chelsea players so we expect a tough match.

“Whoever the manager is he will not have too much time to impose his own ideas so we expect them really close to what Frank was doing before.”

Wolves have been short of options up front since the fractured skull suffered by Raul Jimenez against Arsenal two months ago, winning just one of their nine Premier League matches since.

They have scored 10 goals in the process, three of them coming in a 3-3 draw at Brighton, but Nuno believes new loan signing Willian Jose will offer them something different when his work permit is approved.

“(He has) talent, quality, experience, a very good player,” Nuno said of the 29-year-old from Real Sociedad.

“First we have to see how he is but he’s been competing all season. One week ago he played a full game so in terms of fitness he’s ready, it’s a matter of integrating him in the philosophy of the team.

“I think he’s a different player to what we already have because he has experience, links the game well, he’s a finisher, a goalscorer. He can really help the team especially in the absence of Raul and Patrick (Cutrone) coming without so many minutes.

“In the FA Cup we play with Patrick and Fabio (Silva) together. We expected more but they didn’t have much time to know each other. Having Willian gives us another option which gives you more solutions.”