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2020-2021-Season

#PremierLeagueStories – #MaxKilman reveals how he won #NunoEspiritoSanto’s trust to become first team player #WWFC

Max Kilman has revealed how Nuno Espirito Santo has transformed him into a Premier League defender.
Kilman has started Wolves’ last four matches and helped the team pick up 10 points and three clean sheets in the process.
He’s shown such class this term that it’s strange to think that just a couple of years ago Kilman was plying his trade in non-league with Maidenhead United.
“I’m delighted to come in and play my part but credit to all the boys for how well they’ve been playing,” says Kilman. “With the shape we’ve had we’ve made it very difficult for teams and it’s paid off.”

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Learning to operate in the shape Nuno prefers, which has at times this season been a hybrid of 3-4-3 and 3-5-2, has been key to Kilman’s emergence.
After spending the majority of his first two seasons at Wolves watching and learning from the sidelines, the 23-year-old has fought his way into the starting XI and looks undroppable on current form.
But what else has changed? What has Kilman improved in order to earn Nuno’s trust?
“My game understanding and my physicality,” explains the 6ft 4in defender. “When I came in I’d never played five at the back so coming in I’ve had to adapt and understand my role as a defender.
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“I’ve had to become stronger and sharper and that’s what I lacked when I first came into Wolves.
“I had to know when to press, when to get tight to my man, when to cover, and understanding how to cover round my wing-back and work as a five.”
It’s an incredibly complex system to learn, hence why Nuno often allows new signings a lengthy period to adapt to his methods.
Kilman’s task has been made easier by the support of those alongside him, especially captain Conor Coady who barks out the orders to his teammates from his position as Wolves’ deepest outfield player.

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“He’s a fantastic leader,” Kilman says of Coady. “He knows the right time to give you a bit of encouragement and when he needs to make you concentrate. He’s helped me so much along with some other players.”
The likes of Coady, who has incredibly been ever-present for Wolves in their last 118 league matches, will be key to ensuring Kilman maintains the high standards he’s set at the start of this season.
Kilman added: “Nuno and the whole staff don’t just say ‘It’s good enough’, there’s always room for improvement and they’re always trying to find ways to make us that little bit better.”

Max Kilman Wolves

Max Kilman has revealed how Nuno Espirito Santo has transformed him into a Premier League defender. Kilman has started Wolves’ last four matches and helped the team pick up 10 points and three clean sheets in the process. He’s shown such class this term that it’s strange to think that just a couple of years ago Kilman was plying his trade in non-league with Maidenhead United.

Max Kilman said “I’m delighted to come in and play my part but credit to all the boys for how well they’ve been playing, With the shape we’ve had we’ve made it very difficult for teams and it’s paid off. My game understanding and my physicality, When I came in I’d never played five at the back so coming in I’ve had to adapt and understand my role as a defender. I’ve had to become stronger and sharper and that’s what I lacked when I first came into Wolves. I had to know when to press, when to get tight to my man, when to cover, and understanding how to cover round my wing-back and work as a five. He’s a fantastic leader, He knows the right time to give you a bit of encouragement and when he needs to make you concentrate. He’s helped me so much along with some other players. Nuno and the whole staff don’t just say ‘It’s good enough’, there’s always room for improvement and they’re always trying to find ways to make us that little bit better.”

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