Nuno Espirito Santo says Wolves will not tackle the task of trying to halt Manchester City’s record-breaking winning streak with the mentality that they have nothing to lose.
Premier League leaders City go into Tuesday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium on a run of 20 successive victories in all competitions, a record for an English top-flight side.
Wolves, 12th in the table and unbeaten in their last five matches, defeated Pep Guardiola’s men 2-0 away last season, and also triumphed 3-2 in the return fixture before losing 3-1 at Molineux in their last meeting in September.
Asked at his pre-match press conference if City’s form meant Wolves went into the game with nothing to lose, boss Nuno said: “We never approach a game like that. There’s always something to lose and always something to gain.
“What we have (to do) is compete. All the matches are for us very important. We have the realisation that tomorrow is going to be tough, but let’s play the game. Let’s challenge ourselves and compete well.
“There’s a way to play against all opponents. It doesn’t change – it’s about yourself, your task, the way you face and the attitude you have for the game.
“City will create a lot of questions and problems for us, we have to find solutions and give answers.”
Nuno was also asked about a tactic employed by Wolves winger Adama Traore, scorer of a brace in last season’s win at City and another goal in the home win, of rubbing baby oil on his arms before taking to the pitch.
“It was not my idea, but it’s a good idea,” the Portuguese said.
“Definitely (it helps him). We felt the difference. It’s very hard to stop Adama and that avoids that situation – he becomes more slippery, so he gets more advantage of his speed and talent.”
Asked if other players would be trying it, he said: “Yes, why not? It can be useful. I expect some of those don’t use it because it can go the other way round!
“I thought honestly it was a fantastic idea by the medical department. It came from the injury he had in his shoulder – that was caused basically because of holding of his arm and creating this strong impact on his shoulder. That was an option to avoid it, and from there on he kept on doing it.”
Striker Raul Jimenez has started to have some involvement in training sessions as he continues his recovery from the fractured skull he suffered in November.
Nuno, who last week expressed his confidence Jimenez would return to action before the end of the season, said that the Mexican was making “very positive” progress but declined to put a timeframe on when he would be involved in contact situations.
“At this moment he is avoiding any kind of contact situations,” Nuno said.
“Hopefully soon he’ll integrate 100 per cent, and then up to fitness and then back to the pitch.”