Bruno Lage praised the impact of his substitutes in Wolves’ first Premier League win of the season, which saw Daniel Podence and Hee Chan Hwang have a major impact on earning all three points.
The head coach switched up his forward line with the game still goalless, with Hwang and Podence tested to play in between the lines of Watford’s midfield and defence and exploit the spaces they were offered. The decision proved dividends, and Lage admitted having players with different strengths at his disposal is a key difference in helping secure the victory.
On victory over Watford
“It was a good game. It was a good performance from our side. We began the game very well, the first 15 to 20 minutes we played our game; the way we play, the way we create, the way we find our spaces, the way that we create our chances, and after that, Watford had a good transition and had a little bit of the game.
“But after in the second-half, with the changes we did at half-time, and the changes we made with Podence and Hwang, I think the game came to us.
“The second-half was very good, we continued to create chances we scored the two goals and we deserved these three points. For sure, it’s a good result at this point, and a good result for what we did in these first four games.”
"The way we're creating chances, the goals will come and the victories will come. I'm happy for this one but now we're preparing everything because it's not about one."— Wolves (@Wolves) September 11, 2021
The boss' #WATWOL verdict.
On substitutes having an impact
“Hwang and Daniel [Podence] had a position inside of the lines, between the midfielders and defenders, and then we created a lot of chances. That’s why we changed Adama to right and Trincao to left.
“After 60 minutes, I felt we needed to put one more guy inside, I pushed Hwang, and then when we scored, and they changed to 4-4-2, we knew the spaces would be there.
“We changed Adama for Podence and we had more of the possession, and Daniel was able to create the second chance. That’s why it’s important we have a good squad, and competitive players.”
On a debut goal for Hwang
“We don’t have time for training, even with our players, we just had one or two weeks for the pre-season and we started the competition.
“When he come, he saw he videos, the way we play in the offensive way, the way we play in the defensive way, we prepared the game and he helped us.
“It’s a good start for him and I hope he has a good future with us.”
63' Brought on for his debut— Wolves (@Wolves) September 11, 2021
83' Celebrating his first goal
On having a strong squad
“This is why we want top players. When we want to change something, when we need to put players with a different profile inside of the pitch to help us win, we have that type of player with us.
“Adama has a different profile than Daniel, he’s more about situations when it’s one against one and he can create chances just for him when he plays on the left, when he plays on the right he can create crosses, Daniel is more of a guy who can pay between the lines, behind the striker, keep more of the ball and link up with the players.
“That’s why every game has a different history, every game needs a different strategy, and we are lucky to have these kind of players to manage the game as best as possible for the team.”
On keeping a clean sheet
“It was important, but so were the goals. When Semedo missed that chance to the goalkeeper before half-time, I went to the changing room and I was thinking to myself, ‘What have we got to do to score one goal’.
“One more time, it was players against the goalkeeper, and I was thinking what do I need to say to the players to score goals.
“But in the end, the process is the same, to give confidence to the players, realise what we did in the first-half, find the spaces, and if we continued this way, we knew the chances would come.
“Then with 2-0, it was important for us to have a clean sheet, because they boys have been working very hard with the way we play with the ball and the way we press the opponent.”
Up. And. Running.— Wolves (@Wolves) September 11, 2021
On a win to build confidence
“There’s two ways to win confidence, one is with how we work, like we did in the first three games, to play well, to create chances, especially against strong opponents, the other way is to score goals and win matches.
“In this game, we have both, so now it’s about continuing to work and keep up the hard work. For me, that’s very important.
“In training, we analyse everything, we study everything, our team, the opponent, and to give the best details for the players, and also to be prepared for the next game.”