Su­per Santo’s a Wolves in­spi­ra­tion

Western Mail - - SPORT -

WOLVES man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Laurie Dal­rym­ple hailed the in­flu­ence of Nuno Espir­ito Santo af­ter the club’s pro­mo­tion to the Premier League was con­firmed at the week­end.

Ful­ham con­ced­ing an in­jury­time equaliser to draw 1-1 against Brent­ford on Satur­day meant that the third-placed Cot­tagers could no longer catch Wolves.

The Cham­pi­onship lead­ers started the party yes­ter­day with a 2-0 win over Birm­ing­ham and have won 29 of their 42 league games so far this sea­son to seal a re­turn to the top flight af­ter a six-sea­son ab­sence. Nuno’s team have oc­cu­pied top spot in the ta­ble since Oc­to­ber and achieved pro­mo­tion with four games to spare.

The Por­tuguese has steered Wolves to pro­mo­tion in his first sea­son in charge and Wan­der­ers have played some swash-buck­ling foot­ball at times, scor­ing some won­der­ful goals and the praise they have re­ceived has been richly de­served.

Dal­rym­ple paid trib­ute to the im­pact made by Nuno, the boss who ar­rived last sum­mer af­ter a spell in charge of Porto.

He said: “What he’s brought in has been fan­tas­tic. He came in, he changed the play­ing style. We’ve re­cruited well and he’s gal­vanised the group re­ally strongly in a very short space of time.

“And very, very quickly he had us play­ing a dif­fer­ent style of foot­ball than we’d been ac­cus­tomed to and a brand of foot­ball that was de­liv­er­ing re­sults re­ally quickly.”

Speak­ing on Sky Sports News, Dal­rym­ple added: “He’s a su­perb tac­ti­cian, he’s a su­perb strate­gist and he’s a su­perb man-man­ager. He’s ex­tremely good with the play­ers and the staff.

“I don’t re­ally want to sin­gle peo­ple out par­tic­u­larly be­cause it’s been a huge uni­fied club ef­fort from start to fin­ish but there’s no doubt he’s been an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant com­po­nent in the whole thing and what he’s changed since he’s come in has been fan­tas­tic.”

Wolves play­ers cel­e­brated the mo­ment they se­cured pro­mo­tion. The play­ers and staff gath­ered to­gether at their team ho­tel in Wolver­hamp­ton ahead of their lo­cal derby with the Blues at Mo­lineux to watch the Ful­ham game.

Wolves tweeted a video of the cel­e­bra­tions which fea­tured the likes of Conor Coady, Matt Do­herty, Benik Afobe and the rest of the squad.

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker also took to Twit­ter to con­grat­u­late Wolves on a “bril­liant sea­son” and to let them know he is look­ing for­ward to see­ing them on the show next term.

> Neil Warnock has had a ma­jor in­flu­ence on the Blue­birds play­ers, says Ju­nior Hoi­lett. In­set, Hoi­lett cel­e­brates his goal at Nor­wich on Satur­day

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