Nuno Espirito Santo has defended star striker Raul Jimenez after his involvement in an incident with Leeds United’s Robin Koch. Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Jimenez tangled with Koch near to his manager on the touchline during their win over Leeds on Monday. Referee David Coote didn’t spot the coming together, while VAR reviewed it and didn’t take any retrospective action. And Nuno Espirito Santo has now defended his player saying that Raul is a very fair player and there was no malicious intent behind the tackle. Jimenez’s winning goal at Leeds was his 47th in 107 appearances for Wolves, while he’s also contributed his fair share of assists in that time.
Nuno Espirito Santo said “Incidents happen during the game, The referee is there to judge and take a decision. What I see in Raul is a very fair football player. Sometimes when you play with your back to your opponent you are more suited to get physical contact and he deals with that well knowing it is part of the game. With Raul, it’s been a challenge for him and for us to manage the minutes that he plays, He played in the Gold Cup with Mexico at the beginning of last season but he’s been able to perform very well and sustain his levels of fitness. And again this season, it’s always a challenge for him and for us. I see Raul very well, I see him fresh and available, and when he’s like that all the talent emerges and he’s able to help the team. He treats himself very well. The days that he needs to recover, he’s really committed to it. When he works during matches, he gives everything that he has. He is always able to pass that barrier of eventual fatigue. Raul has always been involved with the national team so we exchange information with the national team staff. (It means) they can decide better and have the information of how Raul is, not only him but all the national team players. It helps that both of the staff are able to take care of the players.”
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