The five key quotes from Nuno Espirito Santo's post-Leicester press conference
Nuno has now lost three of his four visits to the King Power Stadium, including one Champions League visit as Porto boss. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Wolves missed the opportunity to move into the top four of the Premier League following a 1-0 defeat to Leicester at the King Power Stadium

Jamie Vardy's 15th minute penalty, which was awarded following a VAR review, gave the Foxes three points against their Midlands rivals and took them to the Premier League summit for a few hours at least. 

Nuno spoke to wolves.co.uk after the game to discuss the defeat, his side's performance and VAR. 

  • On losing the game

Wolves suffered league defeat for the third time this season at the King Power, which ended their four game unbeaten run. Naturally, this disappointed Nuno, who admitted his side's first-half performance was poor. 

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“The first-half at the beginning was difficult. We made a couple of mistakes, we conceded penalty situations, but after that we stayed in the game. In the second-half we played much better. We were able to press and put Leicester in their box. We didn’t achieve the goal, but we created, but of course on the counter attack Leicester created some problems.

“I’m pleased with the way we were organised in some moments. I’m not so pleased with the mistakes we made inside our defensive organisation, that allowed Leicester to achieve the goal. I’m not so pleased at the beginning of the first-half, with the way we were with the ball. I think we improved a lot through the game and in the second-half we were dominant.”

  • On creating chances

Despite not creating a clear opening in the first-half, Wolves enjoyed a couple of openings in the second period. This pleased Nuno, but the Molineux chief insisted that his side should have scored. 

“In the second-half we dominated the game. We moved the ball well; we were balanced and we had some chances. Not enough as we wish, but we had some situations that we felt the draw was there. The boys worked very hard, until the end they showed character.

“Positives from the game was the second-half, that we improved, and we should be more clinical with the chances that we had, because we had some situations that required better finishing.”

“What happened in the first-half was Leicester played better, they had good possession and they created problems. The ambition is always there, and we showed it as the game went by. We wanted to compete and go for the game. Today it was not possible, but let’s go again.”

  • On VAR

Having been denied a goal in both of last season's games against Leicester, VAR was once again a topic of discussion at the King Power Stadium. Nuno defended referee Anthony Taylor's decision to award the spot-kick, saying that the consistency and rules were the problem. 

“The referee saw it, but I don’t know. This situation is very difficult to analyse. It’s not fair to say if it’s the right decision because VAR is not being consistent. The game goes beyond this situation, of course we were penalised, but we reacted well.

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“The criteria, we are speaking about it a lot. The referees have this in consideration, knowing the arms are part of our body. If we want to defend a cross, if you have to put your arms behind your back, you are totally unbalanced.”

  • On adapting to the rules

With so many penalties being awarded for handball, questions have been asked about the possibility of players defending with their hands by their sides at all times. Nuno rejected this idea, and once again campaigned for greater consistency in penalty awards.

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“For us, it’s difficult, I didn’t see the images, but there’s no way to coach a player to defend without the natural movements of the arms. It is what it is and it’s difficult, but it can happen both ways. What we want is consistency in the decisions from VAR.

“It’s happening all over the Premier League, so what we expect from it in the future is to not have to talk about it. Anthony [Taylor] saw it, VAR saw it, for us as managers it’s very difficult to coach a player and tell him he can’t move his arms when defending.”

  • On his internationals

With two weeks until Wolves' next game, where they host Southampton at Molineux, Nuno said he was hopeful his players can return healthy and virus-free.

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“Now we have an international break. Our players go to their teams, what we want is for them to return healthy, without any problems, but we don’t know yet when we’re going to play, the protocols of the testing for when the players return from national teams, so there’s a lot of things we should consider before thinking what’s ahead of us.”

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