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Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui calling for more respect in football

Julen Lopetegui has called for more ‘respect’ in football after another fiery clash with Nottingham Forest.

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The game had flashpoints throughout, but boiled over in the second half when Adama Traore was denied a penalty following an incident with defender Felipe.

Wolves appealed for the spot-kick, before the Forest bench reacted angrily, and Forest staff member Alan Tate shoved Wolves coach Pablo Sanz before both benches clashed.

The pair were both handed red cards by referee Chris Kavanagh, and Lopetegui believes all clubs have a ‘responsibility’ to behave more appropriately.

“I haven’t seen the images, so I don’t know if it’s a penalty or not. The players say yes, but I don’t know,” Lopetegui said.

“These kind of matches have a big emotion, but it’s important to keep the respect for all professionals.

“We are working for a lot of people, in front of a lot of kids, and we have to show a big respect between us. That is an important thing for me.

“I always try to do it in my life. Maybe I have the intensity, but in the same way the opposition bench suffer. They have a fantastic team on the pitch, with big players, to play football.

“I only want to highlight that emotion and football goes hand in hand. We’re all fighting but we need to have respect.

“It’s our responsibility to show respect.”

Lopetegui refused to expand on his point and whether he was accusing Forest of being disrespectful.

There were also suggestions of punches being thrown in that melee, but Lopetegui would not be drawn on what he saw or what his staff members have reported to him.

He added: “I have heard what has happened. I know what has happened, but I don’t want to talk more about this.”

Another contentious decision in added time saw VAR check for a possible red card on Daniel Podence after he appeared to spit at Brennan Johnson.

The Wolves forward could be seen making the action with his mouth, and Johnson was then seen touching his face in response, but the VAR images made it difficult to see if any spit had actually been directed or landed.

In the end, VAR did not award a red card, and once again Lopetegui was coy when asked about it.

He said: “I haven’t spoken to Daniel about this. I haven’t seen the image.”

It has since been reported that the FA will look at this incident.

On the pitch, Wolves left with a point after substitute Podence dragged them level late on.

Lopetegui said: “We came here looking for three points as always, but it’s one more point and we have to continue.

“We have nine matches in front of us, nine finals, and we have to be ready for the next.

“It will be very hard, each match will be a challenge, but it’s a contest. In the Premier League it’s very difficult to win a match and we have to continue to fight.”

Goalscorer Podence added: “Best league in the world. We have been doing great work.

“I’m very happy with that and a goal today. We had a difficult match in front of us and we got one point in the relegation fight.

“It was very frustrating because we had a lot of the ball but they had the best chances. I was looking at the time and we had a lot of time to win this game.

“I played against Forest last year in the cup and this year the matches have been brutal in terms of decisions, which are very complicated against us and make us feel frustrated. Morgan has a bit of joy to provoke our fans. It’s difficult to explain this rivalry.”