Friday, April 19, 2019

Nuno frustrated by second-minute setback

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Mar 2019

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Nuno Espirito Santo said conceding in the second minute gave Wolves too much to do at relegation-threatened Burnley on Saturday.

Conor Coady turned into his own goal after Chris Wood hit the post following a quickly taken free-kick at Turf Moor, with Dwight McNeil’s late strike moving Sean Dyche’s side five points clear of the relegation zone thanks to a battling 2-0 triumph.

Nuno rested Raul Jimenez and Matt Doherty with an eye on next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Watford, although they first face Manchester United at Molineux on Tuesday.

And the Wolves boss accepted Coady’s third Premier League own goal this season gave his side, now without a win in four away league games, an uphill task.

“I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed with the way we started the game because we started very badly,” he told reporters. “When you concede a goal so early, the game becomes much harder after that.

“It’s clearly something that we can avoid, something that we can be better organised in stopping, so it’s disappointing in that aspect of the game. After we fell behind, we took a little while to settle down again, but we were able to play.

“In the second half we started very well, we had some chances, we produced opportunities, but we didn’t score. When we’re not clinical enough to level the score, and then try to go for the win – it’s difficult, and after the second goal it was game over.

“Everything becomes harder and it’s something that we can avoid, and we must avoid. But this is part of the growing process of the team and shows we have to be switched on throughout the whole game.”

Dyche, marking his 300th game in charge of the Clarets, had been preparing to substitute teenage winger McNeil before he settled nerves with his third Premier League goal of the season.

“I was leaving him on because you know when he’s going to score? It was like a crystal ball moment,” joked Dyche after his side broke a run of four league defeats in a row. “I said to the staff: ‘What are you doing? Don’t be so ridiculous, leave him on!'”

McNeil, who took the free-kick that led to Burnley’s opener, did then make way for Johann Gudmundsson with the Clarets boss explaining the 19-year-old, capped for the first time by England Under-20s during the international break, needed a rest.

“It was more of a physical thing. It was a tough second half,” added Dyche. “They had a lot of the ball and they’re a good side.

“They changed their shape slightly and, without looking in too much trouble, we never got to grips with it possession-wise.

“I’ve seen him do it so many times in training. Once he’s turning and he gets them on the back foot he’s dangerous and it’s a fantastic finish.

“It’s tough, games like today in the Premier League where you don’t have much of the ball and you have to be diligent and do the basics. I thought we did exceptionally well today to make sure we won the game.”

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