Nuno bemoans “not human” schedule
Nuno Espirito Santo has criticised Wolverhampton Wanderers' upcoming fixture pile-up, suggesting the authorities have been inhumane with their scheduling.
This season has seen Wolves become the latest club to encounter the travails that come with balancing their Premier League exploits with a Europa League adventure after finishing seventh upon their top flight return last season.
After initially struggling to adapt to the arduous routine of playing Sunday-Thursday, the Molineux-outfit have found a formula that has helped them avoid defeat in their last nine in the Premier League.
Whatsmore, they have also qualified from Group K of the Europa League with a game to spare and Nuno may use his team’s final pool encounter against Besiktas a week on Thursday to rest some of his stars.
The primary thinking behind that will be a crowded December schedule which sees Wanderers play eight fixtures in the next 29 days, starting on Wednesday against West Ham.
Having already played 27 matches this season, fatigue could be a factor going forward, mainly as the Portuguese coach has already found himself having to be creative with his selection.
These experiments have included wing-back Matt Doherty playing a defensive three, while winger Adama Traore has been pushed into covering the Irishman’s usual role.
Leander Dendoncker’s versatility has also been handy, the Belgian switching between defence and attack and Nuno clearly thinks the lack of respite afforded to his side is unfair.
“It’s crazy. This schedule doesn’t make sense,” the Portuguese told reporters on Tuesday. “In our case we are the team who has more competitions already and we are going to play with 45 hours between games, it’s absurd.
“It’s one of the issues every time we have a meeting with the FA, we try to make them understand what it means to the players. It’s not human, the amount of games we have.”