English Premiership

Nuno: We need flexibility in our squad

2019-10-28 15:44
Nuno Espirito Santo
Nuno Espirito Santo (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo believes giving Matt Doherty game time as a central defender in his back three was a worthwhile exercise.

The Irishman has been a staple at right-wing-back since the Portuguese took over at Molineux in the summer of 2017. However, he has found opportunities harder to come by this time around.

A troublesome knee issue plagued Doherty's summer and in his absence, winger Adama Traore moulded himself into the role and has excelled.

With a small squad and games coming thick and fast due to his side's participation in the Europa League, Nuno trialled Doherty on the right of a back-three in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Newcastle.

The experiment produced mixed results and the team appeared to have a better balance when Doherty was pushed further on and Leander Dendoncker dropped back from midfield into the defence.

Dendocker's versatility allowed Nuno to make this switch without using up a substitution and was potentially something he had in mind when looking to swap Doherty into the back-three.

The 27-year-old may be called upon to fill the position in the future and his boss says it is important that players within his squad are able to fulfil numerous roles.

"We have a small squad and having players who are versatile is one of the bases that we want," he said. "It's just about trying to get the right one. In the first half it was Matt and in the second half it was Leander (Dendoncker).

"The team improved but in the first half we required moments of offensive transition of Newcastle. You have to use the game-plan. Being versatile inside the shape is good and we are growing in that aspect."

Wolves' next outing comes on Wednesday when they travel to Aston Villa in the League Cup, before heading to Arsenal on Saturday.

- TeamTalk Media


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