The five key quotes from Nuno Espirito Santo's press conference ahead of meeting with Spurs
Nuno Espirito Santo following Monday's 2-1 defeat to Burnley (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nuno Espirito Santo spoke to the media ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers' Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Here are the top five quotes from his press conference:

  • On his comments on Lee Mason

Following his side's 2-1 defeat to Burnley on Monday night, Nuno labelled referee Lee Mason's performance "not good enough", adding he "worsens the flow of the game."

The FA have asked the Wolves manager to explain his comments and he discussed it on Wednesday.

"I think I should apologise first of all for the timing of my comments. It probably was not in the best moment. But I will not apologise for my words or thoughts.

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"I will never judge the integrity of a referee. What I said is about the ability of the referee. We are the best competition in the world. We expect high standards. We expect the referees to handle the players and the game.

"We want the best referees. The Premier League has the best system of referees. We don't expect them to be the protagonist of the situation.

"Everytime Wolves doesn't perform, I'm the first to admit it. We didn't perform so well we want to improve.

"It's a thought and a belief that we thought before. Like you said, I never did it and I'll probably never do it again. We want to go to a match, not worrying about who the referee is. 

"They are professional. They are 100% dedicated, working everyday for the game. I've been working in other countries where, unfortunately, we had suspicions and raised issues. I've never felt this, even in the Championship.

  • On his striker options

Fabio Silva netted his first goal for Wolves at Turf Moor following his summer move from FC Porto. The young forward earned and converted the penalty himself in an impressive half-hour showing.

"Very important for him [the goal]. He's full of talent, adapting, he got in the match really well. The team wasn't in a good moment and he was a big help. 

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"This is what we expect from the players who come from the bench, make an impact.

"He's adapting, he's getting better. Every training session for him is huge. I see him making improvements each day.

"We didn't bring Fabio to be someone we can't count on. We've counted on him since day one. We don't have Raul, a huge player for us, but we have to find solutions amongst us and Fabio is a great option.

Wolves remain without Raul Jimenez after his injury at Arsenal, but Nuno consists that the club must remain patient with the Mexican striker's return.

"[The] Situation with Raul hasn't changed much. He's doing what he has to do. Relax, recover his health then comes the physical improvement, fitness levels. But we have to be patient.

"The transfer window is coming and we are getting ready, because we have to rebalance our squad.

  • On Owen Otasowie

Another young player who featured at Burnley was Owen Otasowie, who started his first Premier League game before being replaced by Silva.

Speaking about the American midfield, Santo said: "He did well. The spaces he operated on the pitch worked well for us. He's a physical player and he took us out of pressure many many times.

"He's a young boy. We are happy with him."

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Like Otasowie, there are a number of players who have moved to Wolverhampton from a foreign country and are unable to return to their native country due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Nuno elaborated on the job the club are doing to ensure these players are not alone this Christmas: "As long as we don't break the rules on householding. They are going to be together, we are going to support each other. Very young and being away hone, it's important we support each other.

"It's a scary place. For young people now, with the pandemic and their futures.  Sometimes we forget, behind the professional footballer, there is a kid who is developing."

  • On injury concerns

Leander Dendoncker and Willy Boly missed Monday's game, with them both looking set to be out of Sunday's clash with Tottenham.

"We're not in a good moment, we have issues. Leander's improving but he's not with the group yet."

We have dragging issues from game with Chelsea and even from the game with Burnley.

"Having time is always helpful, but we know what is in front of us. We play 27th and 29th. 

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"I hope Boly and Leander can join the group.

  • On Jose Mourinho and Tottenham

Back in his playing days, Nuno lifted the UEFA Champions League in 2004 under Jose Mourinho during his time at Porto.

The pair have since gone onto meet as managers, with Mourinho at Spurs and Manchester United, and Nuno remains excited to meet his former-manager.

"It'll be a pleasure to receive him at Molineux again. I have huge admiration, as you can image, on a personal level and as a manager, he's fantastic.

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"I'm not surprised [how well Tottenham are doing], at all. It's amazing.

"We expect a very tough game. We must get ready for it because we face a tough opponent. 

"They are a talented squad and a tough team. Let's focus on ourselves and prepare. We have Christmas, but after that, we focus on that."

It's not just Mourinho who Nuno will be looking forward to sharing Christmas greetings with, as Matt Doherty will return to his former side for the first time since his summer move to White Harte Lane.

Speaking about the wing-back's time at Wolves, Nuno said: "[When I arrived] Matt was playing on the left-wing and we asked him why he was playing there. He said he felt more comfortable. I told him he is a defender so he must work on defensive situations.

"He committed to it and he had a fantastic level. His goals and assists, the way he went up and down. I have huge admiration for Matt and I am looking forward to meeting him and giving him a hug."

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