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

Joe Hodge reacts to making his debut for Wolves against Chelsea

Wolves midfielder Joe Hodge has given his thoughts about making his first-team debut for the club against Chelsea.

Hodge was named in the matchday squad last Saturday, with Boubacar Traore unavailable through injury.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Hodge has never even appeared for Wolves in the cup competitions.

But he was brought along by interim coaches Steve Davis and James Collins, and he was handed his debut in west London.

He replaced Goncalo Guedes at half-time, and Hodge put in an admirable performance compared some of those around him.

He was not overawed by the occasion and can be proud of his display.

Hodge, 20, has now been speaking about his proud moment, admitting he didn’t expect to play.

He told the club’s official website: “It was a bit of a surprise because I only trained with the first-team a couple of times last week.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

“I was preparing for the game that we had against Liverpool (U21s) on the Saturday and then I was lucky enough to train with them a couple of times.

“Leading into the game I got told I was going to be in the squad, so it all came round pretty quickly.

“I wasn’t expecting anything – any minutes would have been a bonus.”

“I had no idea it was going to happen. I’ve just been keeping my head down working for however long.”

It remains to be seen if more opportunities will be forthcoming for Hodge.

Davis and Collins will remain in interim charge of the first-team against Nottingham Forest following the news that Julen Lopetegui will not become the next manager at Molineux.

Potentially, he could get some more minutes while the youth coaches are taking control.

Joe Hodge deserved his chance, and hopefully more minutes for the Wolves first-team will follow

It was great to see Hodge make his debut for Wolves on Saturday, and it’s a moment he thoroughly deserved. His showing led Dave Edwards to brand him ‘a wonderful footballer’ this week.

He’s had a tough time over the past couple of years or so with his injury.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

But he’s come back from that and really shone for the U21s this term.

His courageous display against the Blues should at least mean he’s in contention for first-team squads going forwards.