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Wolves: Liam Keen gives defence selection verdict

Wolves: Liam Keen gives defence selection verdict - Podcasts

The Express & Star’s Liam Keen has claimed that Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui wants players to fight for their place in the starting XI. 

The Lowdown: Places for grabs

Lopetegui only took charge of the club in November, so he’s likely still piecing together and working out what his best starting lineup is.

Craig Dawson was given the nod to make his league debut last weekend in their Premier League clash against Liverpool in place of Nathan Collins, who was dropped to the bench – and rewarded the Spaniard’s decision by smashing in a finely taken goal in front of the home fans.

Wolves would take all three points at Molineux in a 3-0 win, which saw the Old Gold climb out of the relegation zone into 15th place.

The Latest: Train hard

Keen said that there’s competition for places in the squad and the players need to show their desire to play in training.

Speaking on The E&S Wolves Podcast, he said: “He wants to keep the players on their toes. He said to me recently, I don’t want any player happy to be on the bench. On a matchday, they support their teammates, but in training, they need to show me that they’re not happy about being on the bench.

“So that’s the challenge to Collins now, who probably was a little bit hard done by, because I thought he’d done well recently, but we both thought that he’d be the one to drop out, and I think it makes sense on the face of it.

“You’ve got a right-footer [and] a left-footer with the two that are in, in Kilman and Dawson. You’ve also got Kilman, who is more experienced, who is a bit older – not by a lot, but he is – in comparison to Collins.

“So it made sense that he stayed in, and I thought they worked really well together. Kilman looked a lot more assured.”

The Verdict: Healthy competition

Our view is that it sounds like Lopetegui is trying to inject healthy competition into his Wolves side, and we think that’s a great thing to do.

We believe that the Old Gold are going to need a lot of fight if they’re to stay in the Premier League, and having players battling for places will certainly instil that.

It appears as if the tide is starting to turn for the club in the past few games, as they’ve only lost two of their last six league matches.

When you consider those two defeats came against Manchester United and Manchester City, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Before taking charge of Wolves, Lopetegui looked like an exciting appointment due to his managerial CV, and our view is that he’s proving those who believed in him to be correct.

Their recent Premier League form will certainly have some of the Wolves faithful believing they can stay up.

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