Connor Ronan. Alamy Stock Photo
Biding his time

Wolves boss promises first-team opportunity to Irish midfielder Connor Ronan

Joe Hodge, meanwhile, has spoken of his delight at his recent game-time under Lopetegui.

MANAGER JULEN LOPETEGUI has assured Republic of Ireland international Connor Ronan he will be given first-team opportunities at Wolves. 

Ronan, who has been called into a previous senior Irish squad by Stephen Kenny without being capped, has not made a first-team appearance at Wolves since Lopetegui took charge. Amid reports of a January move away from the club, Lopetegui says Ronan will be given a chance to impress. 

“Connor is our player and is working to try and show that he’s able to be here. He’s going to have his chance. We have a lot of matches and I am sure he’s going to have minutes.”

Ronan has made two first-team appearances this season, both of which came during the interim stint of Steve Davis. He has been eclipsed by the accelerated development of Irish U21 midfielder Joe Hodge, who has played in three of Lopetegui’s four games thus far. 

“I can’t complain about not getting opportunities, and to have some in the past few weeks has been really good for me,” Hodge told the Wolves website ahead of their League Cup quarter-final at Nottingham Forest tomorrow. “I’ve done my best to try and take them. Hopefully I can keep doing well and we’ll see how many more I can get.

“I’m here with top players like Ruben (Neves), Joao (Moutinho), and Mathues (Nunes). They are all top footballers and top midfield players, so I’m learning off them every day in training. 

“The gaffer has worked with some of the best players in the world in the past as well, so he’s definitely got knowledge we can take from. He’s sharing that with us every day.”

Meanwhile, Lopetegui confirmed Wolves have written to new PGMOL chief Howard Webb for an explanation of their disallowed goal towards the end of the weekend’s 2-2 FA Cup draw at Liverpool.  They were forced to settle for a replay due to a lack of camera angles for a VAR call when Toti Gomes scored in the second half.

Referee Andy Madeley upheld the offside call against Matheus Nunes and Wolves have sent the club’s own footage to Webb – chief of referees’ body the PGMOL.

Lopetegui said: “Of course I have seen the images on the internet. I have my opinion, we have sent our comments and we are waiting for an explanation.

“I talked after the match and now we have sent our comments but it’s very clear something has happened.

“It’s important to forget all the Liverpool issues, the injuries and to put the focus on the match (at Nottingham Forest).”

 With reporting by PA 

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