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Wolves' midfield stars helping Joe Hodge to improve

Joe Hodge has credited the help of Wolves’ midfield stars as he takes the next step in his blossoming career.

Joe Hodge (Getty)
Joe Hodge (Getty)

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign this season and impressed new boss Julen Lopetegui – resulting in the head coach blocking a loan move for the youngster in January.

Hodge has the luxury of working with seasoned internationals at Wolves and has credited fellow midfielders Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves for their impact on helping him improve.

He said: “The way I’ve progressed as a player since just training in that environment, not even getting the games, has helped him become a far better player in a short space of time.

“That’s hopefully something I can take into hopefully getting more games at club level next season. It’s definitely only going to help me as a player and that’s what everyone wants, to be in the first team environment. It’s big for me. They’ve all been great. Just to watch them every day and train with them.

“Joao has been one of the best midfielders in the world for years. Ruben exactly the same and is probably the best passer of a footballer in the world at the moment.

“They’re all top players and I’m learning a lot from them. Speaking to them every day is helping me.”

Hodge has also taken another step in his career after being named captain of the Republic of Ireland Under-21s.

The Wolves midfielder played 90 minutes on Sunday as Ireland came from behind to beat Iceland.

He added: “The past six months have been mental, to be honest.

“It all kicked off really getting my first start for the Ireland under-21s, making by debut in September against Israel, and since then it’s gone a bit mad.

“It’s been great and I’m just trying to enjoy it.

“All of my experiences with Wolves will help me become a better player and be better for Ireland, so anything I can take from the past six months is going to be useful for me.”

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