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Wolves' fighting spirit was key to Premier League survival says Julen Lopetegui

Julen Lopetegui believes the turning point in Wolves' season came with how the squad reacted to setbacks over the last few months.

Julen Lopetegui watches from the stands on the final day of the season (Getty)
Julen Lopetegui watches from the stands on the final day of the season (Getty)

In an up and down campaign, Wolves had some disappointing moments – most notably the home defeats to Bournemouth and Leeds, as well as the 6-0 and 5-0 thrashings at Brighton and Arsenal.

But the team often responded with crucial victories that ultimately saved their season and saw them avoid relegation with three games remaining.

Now, Lopetegui believes his side's attitude and application following those defeats was integral in them staying up.

When asked what the turning point in the season was, Lopetegui said: “Maybe after each defeat, because of the answers of the players the next day in training.

“For me, this is a very key, important moment. To see them work here with a big commitment and a big belief was important.

“How they drove through and managed the bad moments were key for our season.

"There's not one moment, above all it was the bad moments. Overcoming the bad moments is key.

"When you win it's always easier and when you lose it's more difficult. We have to answer you (the media) and convince the players the next day.

"They have to be strong and continue fighting, that's why the trigger moment is when we lost.

"The character and personality you show the next day when you lose is key in football and in life."

Lopetegui arrived in November with his side bottom of the Premier League table and once the World Cup break was over, helped mastermind the club's survival.

The head coach was heavily backed in the January transfer window, but insists he always believed he would turn the club's fortunes around.

"Of course! If not, I would have stayed in Spain," Lopetegui said when asked if he believed survival was possible.

"I came here because I knew we had a very difficult situation on the table and it's the first thing I translated, that we had to accept our situation and fight very hard to change it.

"But you have to accept it, it's true. After, we tried to put our best forward to change the situation step by step, fighting a lot and being ready to arrive until the final whistle.

"This is very important in this kind of race. We tried and we are happy to get this achievement."

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