New Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui advised to freshen up squad

Wolves’ new head coach, Julen Lopetegui, will need to add to the squad to help them battle relegation, interim manager Steve Davis has said. Lopetegui will take control of first team affairs from Davis on 14 November following his appointment on Saturday. The Spaniard was not at Molineux for the 3-2 defeat to Brighton, which leaves Wolves second from bottom with 10 points from 14 games.

Members of Lopetegui’s staff will attend the League Cup match against Leeds on Wednesday, while the new head coach is likely to be in Wolverhampton on Friday and at Molineux for Arsenal’s visit a day later. “He’s a great appointment and he’s somebody the club needs going forward,” Davis said. “The club just needs someone who can stamp their philosophy on it and know what players he needs to fit into the system he wants to play.

“I am looking forward to seeing how he moves these players around and what he wants to do with them because there is quality here. But maybe the balance is not quite right and he needs a bit more balance in the squad. I haven’t had a chance to speak to him, but I am looking forward to having a chat with him.”

Wolves have suffered a number of injuries to players this season, including to forwards Raúl Jiménez, Sasa Kalajdzic and Pedro Neto, leaving the squad threadbare. “If I was in his shoes, I would be looking to increase the numbers with quality,” Davis said. “There is quality within the team and the confidence has grown over the last three or four games, and you can see the fight, they roll their sleeves up and work hard for each other.”

Lopetegui had turned down the job in mid-October due to a family matter in Spain but re-entered into talks with the Premier League club last week. It is a quick return to work for the Spaniard, who was sacked by Sevilla a month ago after to a poor start to the campaign. He spent three seasons in Andalusia, winning the Europa League in 2020.

Providing Lopetegui acquires the requisite work permit, his first game in charge will be away at Everton on Boxing Day after the World Cup break. The former Real Madrid and Sevilla head coach’s appointment comes more than a month after Bruno Lage was sacked for overseeing a spell of one win in 15 matches stretching back to last season. In the meantime, Davis has collected four points from his six games in charge.