MX23RW : Monday, February 18 05:08:53

Nuno: Big mistake to focus solely on Wilfried Zaha

Wolves are unbeaten in five Premier League matches ahead of their trip to Crystal Palace.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo does not believe Crystal Palace are too reliant on Wilfried Zaha.

Nuno takes his in-form side to Selhurst Park on Saturday and is wary of Roy Hodgson’s Eagles.

The last time Palace won without Zaha was in September 2016 and they lost to Southampton last month when the Ivory Coast international was out with a groin injury.

But Nuno insisted his side must treat Palace’s whole squad, not just Zaha, with respect.

He said: “All the players of Crystal Palace have quality: Zaha, (Andros) Townsend, (Cheikhou) Kouyate, (Mamadou) Sakho, (Wayne) Hennessey.

“We cannot look at the team as just an individual, it would be a big mistake. We know the strengths but at the same time we know the weaknesses.

“I only look at all the squad, I know and have passed information to the players that we are going to find a very good team, full of quality, a good manager and a tough environment.

“We must be ready for everything. We go prepared and ready to compete.”

Wolves head to London ninth in the Premier League and unbeaten in their last five league games and if they avoid defeat it will be their longest unbeaten run in the top flight since 1979.

The run has seen Nuno nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Month for September after three wins and a draw last month.

He said: “It’s a reflection on the players, the way they have been playing and working. It’s an honour of course but it gives us more responsibility.

“We want to repeat it and improve through the season. But we’re only looking at the next game – that’s against a very difficult Crystal Palace side.”

Wolves’ form has also earned full-back Jonny a first call-up for Spain and Helder Costa a maiden Portugal selection.

“For the club it’s an honour and it represents the quality and the way the players work,” added Nuno, who has a fully-fit squad.

“We anticipate all the situations, we’re delighted with the players going but we will work very hard here with the players who are staying.

“Those who are not in the Nations squads must work hard and get better so they become an option for the national team coaches.”


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