As Vitinha’s sublime strike sealed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over non-league Chorley on Friday, Nuno Espirito Santo admitted Wolves had been fortunate to scrape into the FA Cup fifth round.
After a lackluster showing at Victory Park, Nuno’s side was lucky to escape an embarrassing upset.
A brilliant long-range drive by Vitinha put Wolves ahead early in the first half.
But sixth tier Chorley, the last non-league club in the competition this season, challenged the Wolves all the way and could have forced extra-time easily.
Before they sealed a last 16 tie against Southampton or Arsenal, Wolves keeper John Ruddy needed to make some strong saves.
“They were well organized. We should have moved the ball faster but a win is a win. They were tough,” said Nuno.
“The scene was set for us to lose this game. It was difficult to keep possession. We adapted well to the pitch. It was important for everyone we went to the next round.”
In their last six Premier League games, Wolves are winless, and after their trip to suburban Lancashire, Nuno can hardly be reassured that a revival is around the corner.
Nuno made six changes to local rivals West Bromwich Albion from last weekend’s defeat, but still featured Conor Coady, Joao Moutinho, and Fabio Silva’s £ 35 million pre-season signature.
Chorley Captain Scott Leather booked the day off from his work as a lift engineer to play for the part-timers, illustrating the large gap between the teams.
Many of Leather’s colleagues, including Jamie Vermiglio, their boss, who is a primary school headteacher, spent the day at work.