Nuno Espirito Santo: "We have decisions to make and we have to continue."

Wolverhampton Wanderers suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stoke City on Thursday evening thanks to a late goal from Jacob Brown in the Carabao Cup.

Nuno Espirito Santo made six changes from the side that comfortably defeated Sheffield United on Monday night. 

John Ruddy made his first appearance since the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup in January and Fabio Silva was handed a chance in the starting line-up to make his Wolves debut.

However, with the back three the same from Monday and the likes of Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traore on the pitch, Stoke defeated a strong Wolves to set up a tie with Gillingham next Tuesday.

Thoughts on a quiet contest

Embed from Getty Images

The only goal of the game came in the 86th minute, Brown scoring his first goal for the club since his summer move from Barnsley.

Silva missed a couple of chances in his first start for his new club in a game of few chances.

Speaking to Wolves.com, Nuno said: "First-half I think we should produce more. We had a lot of the ball, but didn't quite break the lines of Stoke.

“The second-half better, I think we started better, created more, pressed better, but at the point we conceded a goal, we created a couple of chances, but the boys worked hard. A lot of things to improve on the squad and team."

When asked about Silva and Vitinha's performance, Santo was full of praise on his new signings: 

“The boys that went to the team, of course have to know each other better, create more complexities and better societies. But they work, Vitor and Fabio, they worked, available in every moment, creating lines of pass, linking the game.

“Fabio had moments, as a striker in the box, he did good moments – next time, try to be more accurate, work on that, we have to work on a lot of aspects. These chances can be better finished.”

Confusion on Jota's absence

Embed from Getty Images

Diogo Jota was on the bench at Bramall Lane on Monday but was left out of the 18-man squad on Thursday.

After only scoring four goals in the Premier League since the start of 2020, Jota has fallen out of favour with Santo and is now the second choice to Daniel Podence.

When questioned on the 23-year-old missing the cup exit, Santo said: "Him and Max [Kilman] were not available for this game," Nuno said. "We have a small squad, all of the options are good but today they were not available for the game.

"These are decisions that we have to make. We have to know what the moment of the season is. It was a quick turnaround but we have to take care of the players.

"We have decisions to make and we have to continue."

What does the future hold for the winger?

Embed from Getty Images

After seeing his form dip towards the end of the season, consequently aligning with Wolves missing out on a top-seven finish, Jota was dropped for the UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla.

When asked if Jota would be selected for the visit of Manchester City at Molineux, the Wanderers boss said: "I don't know, we have to see. He was not on the squad list. Period."

“We have to prepare, knowing it’s going to be hard. As always, we go to the game, we are ready to compete, perform well, this is what we want to do. It’s a new challenge, what happened in the past, it’s over. Now we focus on Man City.”

VAVEL Logo