Lopetegui praises Wolves youngsters Lembikisa and Hodge after Liverpool FA Cup draw - Molineux News
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Lopetegui praises Wolves youngsters Lembikisa and Hodge after Liverpool FA Cup draw

Julen Lopetegui picked out Wolves youngsters Joe Hodge and Dexter Lembikisa for praise following their displays against Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Wolves drew 2-2 with the Reds at Anfield, and will now play a replay against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It was a thrilling contest, and Wolves gave a brilliant account of themselves in Lopetegui’s fifth game in charge.

Wolves really believed they could win the game against a full-strength Liverpool team.

And they would have done just that, had it not been for an absolutely ridiculous situation towards the end when Toti Gomes had a perfectly good goal ruled out.

The defender scored, but was flagged for an offside in the build-up.

TV replays failed to show anyone offside, and the on-field decision was upheld. Supposedly, the right camera angles were not available.

While that was a source of huge frustration, many Wolves fans were very pleased with the team’s performance last night’

And after the game, Lopetegui commented on Hodge and Lembikisa’s contributions.

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

He said (via Wolves official): “He [Dexter] and Hodgy, they have shown a good character and personality, and even quality because they have been able to play here and they have to believe in themselves.

“But this is not about their age. This is about their quality and their character and to be ready to compete in this level. They are ready to help us in the next matches.

“They only have to continue working and to be ready for the next match. It is going to be much harder than today, for sure, because we are going to play against Nottingham Forest and it’s another kind of match, so they have to be ready for that one.”

Lembikisa and Hodge should be proud of themselves after Liverpool draw, as Lopetegui praises Wolves duo

Lembikisa and Hodge deserve a special mention after last night.

Anfield is a hard place to go even for senior pros.

They’re in experienced, but did not let the occasion faze them. Lembikisa stuck to his task well against Liverpool’s new signing Cody Gakpo, and had some really good moments defensively. His clearing header at the back post in the first-half was fantastic.

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

And Hodge continues to show he is more than capable at this level. He was confident on the ball, and worked his socks off.

It’s brilliant to see Lopetegui giving youth a chance, and this will hopefully continue to be the way under him.