Match-winning goal will boost Adama Traore – Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo

Sean Taylor, PA
·3-min read

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo believes Adama Traore’s superb match-winning goal in the FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace will boost the forward’s confidence.

The 24-year-old had not scored since February but his solo run and ferocious first-half strike was enough to see Wanderers progress on Friday night at Molineux.

Traore struck after 35 minutes, skipping past Eberechi Eze out wide on the right with a lovely piece of skill before shifting the ball onto his left foot and powering a shot beyond Jack Butland from the edge of the penalty area.

It was the Spain international’s first goal since finding the back of the net against Espanyol in the Europa League, 33 games ago.

“It was a special goal from a special player,” said Nuno. “I am very happy because I think this goal will boost his confidence. He has been really trying in training sessions and that is why I am so happy.

“I ask all the players to get shots on goal, now I will ask Adama to keep doing this every game.

“He’s always looking for ways to improve his game and help the team. He’s hard working and special. He has good actions in the game, good delivery, good crossing that we have to take advantage of.

“But we have to have patience with everybody. It has been a hard season for everybody, all the teams, players and managers. You can see how the situation affects everybody.

“Adama is a versatile player who can play in a couple of positions and one thing we are sure about is that every time he is on the pitch he always has an impact.”

Palace are waiting to discover the extent of the thigh injury that forced off Mamadou Sakho at half-time on Friday night.

The big defender has been linked with a move away from the club during this transfer window, with West Brom and Nice reportedly interested in signing the 30-year-old.

When asked about Sakho’s future, Palace boss Roy Hodgson said: “Well I’m quite happy to keep all players. There’s no one that I’m trying to push out of the door.

“But there are players in a squad of 25 men that sometimes have been unhappy that they’re not getting enough game time, and they’re the type of players – especially if their contract is running out – that might be looking elsewhere.

“But at the moment, as far as I’m concerned, Mamadou Sakho is a Crystal Palace player and I’m happy to work with him as long as he is.”