Wolverhampton Wanderers Pre-Season Training Session
Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

James Collins raves over Wolves youngster Joe Hodge after Manchester City U21s loss

James Collins has lavished praise on young Joe Hodge following his performance in the Wolves U21s’ defeat to Manchester City.

The team were beaten 3-1 by a clinical Citizens side at Compton Park on Sunday afternoon, as first-team boss Bruno Lage was informed by officials of his sacking.

Wolves actually took the lead after just 11 minutes through captain Hodge.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

But City quickly hit back through Kian Breckin, before Adedire Mebude scored two goals either side of the break for the visitors.

It was always going to be a firm test for Wanderers.

City came into the game third in the table, but only due to an inferior goals scored tally to those above them.

Wolves did actually create a decent number of chances in the game. On another day, the likes of Nathan Fraser and Chem Campbell might have converted some of their opportunities.

City were just more clinical on the day, but Collins was pleased with what he saw from his side.

He said: “I thought we attacked very well at times and created some good chances. We didn’t take the chances in the big moments, and they did.

“Against the really good teams in this division that’s what happens. Games are decided by fine details and fine lines – today, we can say we feel unfortunate, but I think the game went how it should’ve done because they took their chances.”

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

One of the biggest positives right now for the U21s is the form of Hodge, who is really starting to shine regularly after getting over the injury that ate into so much his first season.

Collins said of the midfielder after the defeat to City (via Wolves offcial): “I can’t speak highly enough of Joe. He’s a manager’s dream in the fact that he’s got talent and ability, but also understands that to make it at the top level or any level of professional football you have to do the hard work and the hard yards.

“Nobody I know works harder than him or sticks at it, showing resilience like him. He’s getting his rewards with his performances.

“I think he’s been our standout player this season so far and because of that probably won’t spend much longer in under-21s football. He’ll either get in and around our first team or he’ll get himself a really good loan.”

Serious praise from James Collins for Joe Hodge, he could be the next big thing at Wolves

This is some seriously high praise from Collins for Hodge, who must delighted to read such comments.

Hodge has bounced back in brilliant fashion after suffering both a broken leg and broken ankle, which put him on the sidelines for 13 months in total.

Hodge signed for Wolves while he was injured, and had to wait six months before making his debut at youth level.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It is fantastic to hear how well he is now performing with the U21s.

There are lots of talented young players. But the difference between those that make it and those that don’t is the dedication and consistent level of hard work.

Hodge is clearly someone with a brilliant mentality, and it’s very possible he’ll become the next Luke Cundle or Chem Campbell at the club in making it to the first-team.