Julen Lopetegui praises Toti Gomes after cameo against Everton - Molineux News
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Julen Lopetegui praises Toti Gomes after cameo against Everton

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui has praised Toti Gomes for his efforts in the closing stages of the game against Everton on Boxing Day.

Wanderers won the game 2-1 courtesy of a Rayan Ait-Nouri goal deep into injury-time.

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Wolves had fallen behind early on when Yerry Mina peeled off Hugo Bueno to head home from a corner.

But the players showed great character to get back into the game.

A nice corner routine saw Joao Moutinho flick the ball over the top for Daniel Podence to finish on the volley.

And Wolves then hit Everton on the counter right at the death, with Adama Traore finding Ait-Nouri in the box. He showed great composure to finish past Jordan Pickford.

It was a huge three points for Wolves, who will take great confidence and belief from the comeback win.

Lopetegui has been coming in for a lot of credit for his substitutions in the second-half, and rightly so.

Every man he sent on had a positive impact.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Some were a bit unsure about Toti coming on at the end, as it felt like a signal Lopetegui was ready to play for the draw.

But that actually enabled Wolves to sit in and soak up pressure and eventually catch the hosts on the counter.

Toti made some excellent defensive plays when he come on, and Lopetegui praised the star after the game.

He said (Express & Star): “We have to continue working a lot. We suffered a lot of crosses at the end of this match and Toti did very well.”

Toti Gomes substitution against Everton was inspired management from Lopetegui

Wolves fans can be forgiven for thinking Lopetegui sending Toti on was a sign of wanting to shut up shop.

But it was the change that helped Wolves to hit Everton on the counter.

Toti was great when he came on.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolverhampton Wanderers FC via Getty Images

He did concede a foul and pick up a booking almost immediately after coming on. But following that, he was solid. His clearance at the front post was vital.

He just helped shore things up for Wanderers as Everton applied the pressure.

It was a cameo that may just get Lopetegui thinking in terms of his starting XI.