https://www.oann.com/sports/soccer-lopetegui-is-a-great/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=soccer-lopetegui-is-a-great

WOLVERHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Ruben Neves welcomed the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as their new manager but warned that the Midlands club needed to arrest their slide before the Spaniard officially takes over.

A 3-2 home defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday left Wolves second-from-bottom in the Premier League table with 10 points from 14 games and only eight goals scored.

Wolves have lost four of their six games under caretaker coach Steve Davis, who will sign off with next weekend’s home clash with Arsenal, and although they are not losing touch, things need to get better in a hurry.

The Midlands club also have a League Cup tie against Leeds United on Wednesday.

“I’m 100% sure he’s a great coach and he’ll help us a lot but we need to focus on our next two games we have in front of us,” Neves said of the former Real Madrid, Sevilla and Spain coach who gave him his senior debut at Porto.

“Two more games at home, try to get wins, that’s our target.

“Of course we know he’s a great manager, he’s done a lot of big things in football, he’s coached a lot of big teams. But the next two games are the most important things for us.”

Wolves appeared to be heading for a morale-boosting win when Neves scored from the penalty spot to give his side the lead after Goncalo Guedes had cancelled out Adam Lallana’s opener.

But Kaoru Mitoma equalised, Nelson Semedo was sent off before halftime and Pascal Gross struck a late winner.

“Effort wise, fight wise, some quality in the game we showed: I was pleased with those aspects but today we didn’t defend well enough,” Davis said.

“We talked a lot about connecting better from front to back, we’ve got to be compact and hard to beat and I think today we didn’t get that right.”

While Wolves will hope Lopetegui can steer them clear of the drop, Brighton are thriving under Roberto de Zerbi who replaced Chelsea-bound Graham Potter.

After outclassing Potter’s Chelsea last week they posted another win and are up to sixth.

“I am very happy, it’s a big three points for us in a very difficult game but I feel we deserved to win,” De Zerbi said.

“We played in our style; we played better and better without and with the ball and I was happy with the quality of the performance from the players.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)

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