Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has revealed that Diogo Jota has not travelled to Turkey for the Europa League clash against Besiktas.
The Portuguese forward – a key player for Wanderers – has been nursing a toe injury recently that caused him to miss the 2-0 win over Watford at the weekend.
Asked if Jota would be involved at Vodaphone Park, Nuno replied “no” before going on to say “we will wait and see” regarding whether he might be fit to face Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.
Clearly frustrated by a delayed trip to Istanbul which saw Wolves miss their take-off slot at Birmingham Airport and overrun by around an hour, Nuno defended the decision to train at their Compton base on Wednesday morning rather than at Besiktas’ stadium in the evening.
“It’s a decision we made. We made it before and if we have to do it again we will,” he said.
“Basically we did it because of the jet lag and the different hour. If we train here, we have to go at 6am in the morning and it will affect the players so we considered it was the best option, that’s why.
“We are here and we can rest. Tomorrow is a long day and we will go to the stadium in the morning and have lunch and then a team meeting and a rest and then travel on a bus to play the game.”
Asked if it was a decision he regretted given the travel problems, Nuno replied: “There are things you can not control, you can’t base decisions on that.
“We made a decision based on what I said before. We didn’t want jet lag as everything in your day is different. Now it is not out of normal so we are okay.”
Both Wolves and Besiktas will be looking for their first points in the competition on Thursday night having been beaten in their opening Group K matches.
Like Nuno’s side, Besiktas have won just once in their domestic league this season and are in the bottom three in the Turkish Super Lig.
However, the Wolves boss is anticipating a difficult game and insists his players will be unperturbed by the expected hostile atmosphere.
“It will be very tough, they are a good team. They have a lot of players who play for national teams and we respect the opposition.
“But I honestly don’t see an issue with it (the atmosphere). It’s a normal game and we must focus on what’s inside of the pitch.
“On the pitch we focus on Besiktas, their team, their players and play the game. We are already prepared and we prepared well – the players are ready.”
Besiktas boss Abdullah Avci is hoping his team can get their campaign up and running.
Avci said: “Life offers you a new opportunity every day and tomorrow is one of those opportunities.
“We were below-par in the first game. The important thing is to reflect on the result, so far we could not. I hope that this energy will rise again with a win.
“This process, positive, negative emotions, performances. We’re going to play England Premier League and they have a bumpy performance in their league this season.
“I hope tomorrow we will get a good result in order to look healthier in the next match in the competition.”
Defender Victor Ruiz and forward Burak Yilmaz are doubts for Besiktas ahead of the Group K tie and Avci said he would make a decision about their fitness on Thursday.
“Victor is working from yesterday, we will decide after today’s work, but it probably looks like it will be at the weekend. Our tactical assessments will be available from tomorrow,” he said.