Nuno Espirito Santo has Wolves on the brink of seventh place, but is bristling at the notion that it will lift his promoted side in the Europa League at the first try.
The Wolves manager, buoyed by Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez, saw his side get a measure of vengeance by beating Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday to move four points clear of the pack in the race for seventh.
[ RECAP: Watford 1-2 Wolves ]
Now things would be different if Wolves had defeated Watford in the FA Cup semifinal and not required such vengeance. As it stands, Watford could beat Man City in the final and render seventh moot when it comes to the UEL.
Still, most expect Man City to handle its business at Wembley. Most. From the BBC:
“Maybe I’m the only one in the country that knows that seventh position doesn’t guarantee anything. It’s not about finishing as high as possible, but it’s about finishing as well as possible.”
“We don’t have to think about Europe. Nothing is decided and nothing is 100 percent sure. It’s Fulham in our last home game. Let’s give Molineux something.”
Wolves are back on their game after some hiccups following the semifinal setback, beating Arsenal and now Watford. But that’s actually not too far off from their season-long habit of looking like a Top Four contender against the big teams and slipping up a bit when the lights are a bit lower.
One man who’s been consistently strong is Mexican striker Raul Jimenez, who scored his 13th league goal and 17th in all competitions in the win. He also has eight assists on the season, one which gave Wolves little choice but to exercise the option to buy him from Benfica.
Still, Nuno wants more.
“Raul Jimenez has to improve himself,” he said. “The team will improve. As long as we keep together then we will become a better team.”
Diogo Jota also scored and set-up Jimenez for his marker. Jota to Jimenez is the second-top scorer-assist pairing in the league to Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser cueing up Callum Wilson.
“Jota and Jimenez have been working really hard,” said Nuno. “I truly believe the more time they spend together the more good things will happen.”
Wolves finish home to Fulham and away to Liverpool.