Steve Davis has suggested he and the Wolves coaches have been a little surprised by the rate of Joe Hodge’s development at the club.
The youngster has now become a part of the first-team, following a great start to the season with the U21s.
The ace was introduced to the action at half-time at Stamford Bridge, replacing Goncalo Guedes.
He then got a short cameo against Nottingham Forest, before making another appearance in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.
It is a brilliant moment for Hodge, who has had to work really hard to overcome serious injuries.
He came to Wolves having previously broken both his leg and his ankle in August 2019.
A pre-existing back injury flared up while he was on loan at Derry City from Manchester City, which prevented him from making an appearance for the League of Ireland outfit.
Hodge then came to Wolves carrying that injury, and did not make his debut until February of this year.
But the youngster has got his head down, and has really impressed.
Davis said of the 20-year-old (Express & Star): “Joe has shown guts, determination and courage to want to play and get on the ball. Beyond that, he didn’t disappoint us.
“Did he surprise us? Maybe a little bit, but sometimes you don’t know how they’ll deal with it until you put them in. Going forward, he’ll feel a bit more part of it here.
“He deserves that opportunity. He’s shown us and the supporters that he’s capable. He’s an all-round player who can do a bit of everything well, and he has a great personality. He’s a great kid and that goes a long way.”
Joe Hodge set for more chances at Wolves with Davis at the helm, as interim boss admits surprise at his development
It has been great to see Hodge get minutes with the first-team.
His injury setbacks would have been hugely frustrating for him, so to have bounced back and now be a part of the first-team squad is brilliant.
Davis adds that Hodge’s development accelerated ‘very quickly’, which is interesting to hear.
Especially considering the serious nature of his injuries.
Perhaps his setbacks changed his whole outlook, and instilled a real determination to make up for lost time.