Express & Star

Wolves have to tighten up at the back says Julen Lopetegui

Julen Lopetegui insists Wolves must improve at the back if they want to avoid relegation this season.


The head coach has helped Wolves become more solid in defence since his arrival, boosted by the signing of Craig Dawson, but the team fell short in their 4-2 defeat to Leeds.

Facing a relegation scrap until the end of the campaign, Lopetegui has called for defensive improvement, and a more ruthless attack, to help secure Wolves’ top flight status.

He said: “This is our responsibility. We can do better for all of the goals. The second one was key, it was a stupid goal, and we have to improve this if we want to compete in the Premier League.

“We have to put the focus on the things in our control, and this is one of the things. We will improve.

“In the same way, we also had a lot of chances but we didn’t score. Football is about both boxes.

“In the first half we had three or four very clear chances.

“We had a very good first half. They had one shot in the whole of the first half, and we had eight.

“Maybe the second half was more clear, but we had enough opportunities to overcome the opponent.

“In football, it’s not enough if you don’t score.”

Lopetegui confirmed that Rayan Ait-Nouri’s omission on Saturday was ‘tactical’, as the club wait to see the extent of Nelson Semedo’s injury that he sustained against Leeds.

He added: “He has a big knock on his knee and we don’t know if he’ll be ready or not for the next match. We’ll wait for the tests.”

Ruben Neves is also managing a knock, hence why he came off in the second half.

Lopetegui said: “He had some problems in the week and he was at his limit with his calf, that’s why we changed him.”