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Wolves caretaker boss Steve Davis believes incoming manager Julen Lopetegui needs to hit the January sales.

Pascal Gross’ winner sunk the 10-man hosts as Brighton grabbed a 3-2 win at Molineux to keep Wolves rooted in the Premier League drop zone.

Goncalo Guedes’ strike and Ruben Neves’ penalty cancelled out Adam Lallana’s early opener. Kaoru Mitoma levelled before Nelson Semedo was sent off in first-half injury time.

Defeat came hours after former Spain manager Lopetegui’s appointment was announced and he is due to attend Saturday’s visit of Arsenal.

But Davis feels the new boss will need to move in the transfer window to help his new side survive.

He said: “If I was in his shoes I would be looking to increase the numbers with some quality.

“It needs a little bit more, although there is quality within the team and the confidence has grown, you can see the fight and that’s important.

“He is watching the games and training, he knows a lot of the players anyway. He will have his own ideas on what players he might need to bring in and how he wants to play.

“He will address those things in the future and in January he will look at the squad, maybe he thinks there’s not enough there.

“The coaches are coming in on Tuesday to introduce themselves to the staff and watch the game on Wednesday (in the Carabao Cup against Leeds). He will be in later in the week, maybe Friday. He wants to speak to myself and James (Collins) about what’s been happening.

“There have been, in the last three or four games, a lot of positives we can lean on and hopefully he will take them forward when he starts.”

Lallana opened the scoring after 10 minutes when he curled in Leandro Trossard’s pass but Wolves hit back immediately when Guedes netted his first for the club.

The hosts the grabbed the lead after 35 minutes when Neves converted a penalty. Lewis Dunk was ruled to have handled Daniel Podence’s cross – although it took VAR official John Brooks and referee Graham Scott five minutes to make a decision.

But Wolves collapsed just before the break when Mitoma nodded in Lallana’s cross to equalise. Worse was to follow when Semedo saw red for hauling down Mitoma on the edge of the box in added time.

Jose Sa almost gifted Solly March a goal soon after the restart and Adam Webster sent two headers wide as Brighton searched for a winner.

Robert Sanchez saved from Adama Traore and Wolves looked like they would hold on for a point before Gross slammed in after Deniz Undav poked on Mitoma cross with seven minutes left to leave the Seagulls sixth.

“For sure we have to try (to stay there), to try for us, for our club and for our fans,” said boss Roberto De Zerbi, with the Seagulls two points adrift of the top four.

“We must put our goals high and to train with attitude to achieve these goals. Although I don’t know the future.

“I thought we would win, it was difficult because you don’t always win when you play with one player more. I think we deserved to win, we played a fantastic game. We played 90 minutes very well. It was an animated game but I knew before we would find Wolves like this.

“If you want to speak about the style, this game was the best in my experience here in terms of quality of play, build-up and to having the chances to score.”