Joe Hodge has spoken of his strong desire to become a regular starter for Wolves.

The midfielder has been looking to impress Julen Lopetegui in pre-season, having struggled for minutes under the Spaniard since he came in as manager.

Hodge did actually catch Lopetegui’s eye right away.

On Lopetegui’s first day walking around Compton Park, he bumped into Hodge and told him that he thought he had played well in the FA Cup clash with Leeds United.

Hodge got a handful of opportunities under the new manager.

But after the January transfer window closed, he then didn’t feature again in the Premier League until the final day against Arsenal, when he got a five-minute cameo.

Despite the fact he is a youngster with players currently ahead of him in the pecking order, Hodge has his sights firmly set on a starting role for Wolves.

Joe Hodge sets sight on becoming regular Wolves starter

Hodge has given an interview with the club and outlined some of his goals for the coming season.

It is very clear that he really wants to stick around and play for Wolves and start games regularly.

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

He said: “I’m trying to get my way in the team, and I know I want to play for Wolves. I want to become a starter here, so that’s all I’m trying to do and then we’ll see where we go throughout pre-season for me personally.

“I want to be a big player for Wolves. I want to play, I want to play every week, and I’m fine saying that. I want to improve from where I started last year and just keep getting better and better and hopefully become an important player for the gaffer here.

“That’s my ambition and whether I can do that or not it’s up to me, and other factors as well. But all I can do is try my best to end up a big player here. All I’m doing is focusing on my performances here in pre-season and see where I end up.”

Hodge does add that he would be ‘fine’ going out on loan. But he says it’s his ‘focus’ to be a starter at Molineux.

Hodge might have gone out on loan in January. But Lopetegui reportedly blocked him from doing so, feeling he may have needed him.

Hodge’s determination is very admirable

What a brilliant attitude from young Hodge.

It is great to hear him just state firmly that he really wants to be a starter for Wolves.

Hodge is known to be a determined individual. He arrived at Wolves having suffered some bad injuries during his time at Manchester City.

In August 2019 he broke both his leg and ankle.

The following season, a pre-existing back injury flared up. Wolves signed him in August 2021 while he was sidelined with this issue, and he returned to action in February 2022 for the U23s.

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

He put in a string of brilliant performances, and eventually became a member of the first-team.

He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he is, and it would amazing if he saw more minutes under Lopetegui.

Now is his chance to really impress the manager in these last few weeks before the new season.

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