Danny Murphy hails Julen Lopetegui for being bold against Southampton
Wolverhampton Wanderers Training Session
Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Danny Murphy hails Julen Lopetegui for being bold against Southampton

Wolves got another brilliant win against Southampton yesterday – and Danny Murphy hailed Julen Lopetegui for his management of the game.

Wanderers fell behind when Carlos Alcaraz scored in the first-half.

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The visitors then lost Mario Lemina, who was sent off by referee Jarred Gillett. That was a hugely controversial decision, with Lemina supposedly running too aggressively towards the official.

Ruben Neves said afterwards that Gillett gave Lemina a second yellow because he was the third player to surround him.

So Wolves were a goal and a man down.

But thankfully, Wolves are now in the hands of a master tactician.

Lopetegui brought on Hugo Bueno and Adama Traore at half-time.

And he later brought on Diego Costa, Joao Gomes and Jonny Castro Otto.

The changes helped Wolves get a foothold, and Wanderers were easily the better team in the second-half.

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Jan Bednarek scored an own goal, and then Gomes hit a superb winner on his debut.

The positive changes by Lopetegui resulted in three huge points, and Murphy hailed the manager last night on Match of the Day for his boldness.

He said: “The manager of Wolves deserves great credit. He made positive substitutions at a time when he could have been more cautious, and went for it straight away in the second-half.

“Lopetegui brought Traore on for Moutinho which was positive. He started causing problems as we know he can. Costa came on, giving them a focal point, which they lack first-half.

“Left-hand side Ait-Nouri had struggled in the first-half, Bueno came on. Again, positive, getting forward, trying to make things happen.

“They get the winner by being more aggressive, trying to get the knock-downs, wining these types of balls. It’s a brilliant finish (from Joao Gomes).”

Julen Lopetegui’s substitutions in games are extremely refreshing, as his decision to go bold against Southampton pays off

One of the most impressive things about Lopetegui is his in-game management.

He has shown many times already at Wolves than he will not wait around to try and change things.

He’s very happy to get players on at half-time if needs be, and it’s just so refreshing to see this kind of management.

One of the big criticisms of Bruno Lage was that he made substitutions too late in games. He often had misplaced faith in Plan A, and it led to poor results.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It was brilliant to see Lopetegui being bold against Southampton, despite being a goal and a man down.

Many other managers would have instructed their team to keep things tight and try to hit on the break.

But the Spaniard clearly saw the potential to get at the Saints despite the numerical disadvantage, and it’s three huge points in the bag as a result.