Lopetegui praises Joe Hodge despite missing decisive penalty for Wolves - Molineux News
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Gillingham - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

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Lopetegui praises Joe Hodge despite missing decisive penalty for Wolves

Julen Lopetegui praised Joe Hodge after he saw a penalty saved in last night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Wolves are out of the competition after losing in a shootout.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

The game finished 1-1, with Raul Jimenez cancelling out Willy Boly’s opener for Forest.

Wanderers were pushing for a winner in the second-half, but couldn’t breach the Forest backline again after Jimenez’s goal.

Wolves should have had a penalty for a foul by Emmanuel Dennis on Matheus Nunes.

But it was waved away by referee Graham Scott.

Given how things are going at the moment, that didn’t come as much of a surprise to Wolves fans.

The game was decided on penalties.

Each side saw their first spot-kicks saved, and then the next three each were scored.

Photo by Isaac Parkin – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Forest bagged their fourth, and it was all on Hodge to score to keep the tie alive.

But Dean Henderson guessed correctly and dived to his right, denying the youngster and Wolves a place in the last four.

After the game, Lopetegui insisted the experienced will improve Hodge going forwards.

He said: “I want to highlight his commitment and character. But this is done and the players that don’t score the penalties are never at fault. He wanted to take a penalty and show his character and this is all. He’s going to grow and improve from this, for sure.”

Just one of those things for Joe Hodge as youngster sees penalty saved for Wolves, but Lopetegui’s right to praise him

Lopetegui is absolutely right to highlight Hodge’s commitment and character.

You couldn’t ask for more from Hodge. His penalty was stuck well, but Dean Henderson just guessed the correct side.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It was a rough moment for Hodge. But Lopetegui’s right, he will grow as a result of this.

Hopefully he knows that Wolves fans appreciate him stepping up ahead of players far more senior than him.