Hull City

Patience Paying Off For Lopes

01 November 2019
They always say that ‘patience is a virtue’ and Leo Da Silva Lopes has recently taken his chance to shine with both hands by demonstrating his midfield qualities in the recent victories over Nottingham Forest and Derby County.

After putting pen-to-paper on a three-year deal with the Tigers in August, the 20-year-old has been in and out of Grant McCann’s side so far this season with five starts and five substitute appearances in the Championship.

Two of those starts have come in the last two games though in which Lopes has produced industrious displays in the middle of the park, much to the delight of the former Peterborough United and Wigan Athletic youngster.

“It’s been good to start the last two games on a personal level,” he said.

“I didn’t play too much football last year in the Championship and I’ve had to wait and be patient for my opportunities here.

“I’ve been in and out of the team so far really, but to play back-to-back games – the full 90 minutes in both – and help the team to pick up six points is really pleasing. It’s been decent and I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

“The enjoyment factor is key for me. It’s great to be working with Grant McCann again. I love the way he works and his system.

“It’s something I’m used to and I’m enjoying right now, which is important for any player.

“I played a few times at right-back but that’s not my actual position – I’m a central midfielder where I can get on the ball. That’s my position and I’ve enjoyed being there and making an impact in the last two games.”

Lopes and his team-mates have arguably produced their best two displays of the season to-date when picking up six points from the past two games – and the Lisbon-born midfielder knows the importance of maintaining their performance levels for Saturday’s trip to Fulham.

“Obviously in the Championship, you just need to be consistent,” he added. “So, to get successive wins was massive for us.

“Nothing has changed on the back of that though. We’ve continued to work as hard as we have done all season throughout the week.

“It doesn’t matter who we play or where we play. There are a lot of good teams in the Championship and we’re ready for every challenge we face.

“It’s going to be another tough game on Saturday but we just have to go out there and do the same as we have in the last two matches as we look to get more points.

“Fulham were always going to be challenging up at the top end of the table this year after coming down from the Premier League. They’re a quality side with quality players in all areas of the pitch.

“But, we want also want to be challenging for the top six ourselves and, in order to do that, we’ve got to compete against the best sides in the division.

“As I say, it’s going to be a tough test for the lads but we’ll be prepared for that and everyone in the group is ready and raring to go.

“We had a few results earlier in the season, a few draws that maybe should have been turned into wins, but to have back-to-back wins for the first time in the league this season is very good and gives us a real platform to build on now. That has to be our aim moving forward.”