Nuno Espirito Santo demands Wolves improvement after winless run continues

Boss Nuno Espirito Santo has challenged his Wolves players to improve fast after they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace to extend their winless Premier League run to eight games.

The Molineux club have not tasted success in the division since December 15 when they beat Chelsea and while they have progressed into the FA Cup fifth round, in the top flight they continue to look toothless.

It took them until the 56th minute to have a shot on target at Selhurst Park and although new signing Willian Jose looked sharp on his full debut, Wolves have slumped to 14th after Ebere Eze’s winner for Palace and have Arsenal and Leicester up next.

“A lot of things are missing,” Nuno said. “Better performances, better decisions, what is our identity. Everything must be faster.

“It is not about individuals, it is about all of us and we must commit more to face the challenge we have in front of us.

“We have a big challenge and we have to improve and improve fast.”

Nuno confirmed Italian attacker Patrick Cutrone was left out ahead of completing a loan move to Valencia and the visitors struggled to create chances in south London.

After failing to test Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita in the first half, the Spaniard was called into action after the break but thwarted Jose on two occasions.

“It was not one of the best performances,” the 47-year-old conceded.

“We came with the expectation to try and improve and build up our game and momentum.

“We were organised in the first half, second half not so much by chasing the result and we lacked creativity, speed in possession and circulation and passes that break lines of Palace. We didn’t do it.”

Palace had only triumphed in one of their last 10 games in all competitions, which included a narrow 1-0 loss at Molineux earlier in January in the FA Cup.

In a 4-2-3-1 formation, the Eagles had more intent and also boasted six changes to the XI which lost at home to West Ham on Tuesday.

Eze’s fierce strike on the hour mark proved too hot for Rui Patricio to handle and saw the hosts move 12 points clear of the relegation zone.

Boss Roy Hodgson said: “It was a big one. We have been stuck on 23 points or close to 23 points for a little while so it was good to move away from that total.

“A team like Wolves, they will climb the table sooner or later with the type of players they have and the organisation they have, so to beat them and take three points from them was very important.”

The 60th-minute strike was Eze’s third goal for Palace since he joined from QPR ahead of this season and Hodgson backed the youngster to get even better.

“I think he is a player who will improve all the team,” the Eagles boss added.

“Most importantly of all he is getting used to the intensity of the Premier League and all the other things that the Premier League requires from you.”