Wolves’ first win of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign and a debut goal for new signing Hee Chan Hwang were just some of the topics discussed on the latest episode of Matchday Live Extra.
Joining Mikey Burrows was co-commentator and Wolves Hall of Fame full-back Andy Thompson as they pair analysed a 2-0 win at Vicarage Road, which secured all three points for Bruno Lage’s men for the first time this season.
Also joining ahead of kick-off was The Athletic’s Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers, as they also spoke about maintaining the same starting 11 for a third consecutive game and finally breaking their goalscoring drought, despite good chances still not finding their way into the back of the net.
On a positive start to the season, without reward
Thompson said: “All we’re missing is that final touch. It’s going to be a tough match here, Watford are on a great run at home, so it’s going to be difficult.
“But the way that we’ve played in the three matches, the Leicester, the Tottenham, the Man United game, we’ve seen the attacking formation we play, the way that we play, we attack with pace going forward, and it’s looked good.
“We’ve just got that one valuable thing missing at the moment, and that’s putting the ball in the net. Hopefully we can rectify that today.”
Monday morning mood.— Wolves (@Wolves) September 13, 2021
On selection the same starting line-up
Thompson said: “It goes shows that Bruno feels things aren’t broken by the team that he’s picked for the game. I thought Kilman’s played really well, he’s more than warranted his place in the team, and with Boly coming back from injury, it shows you how well he’s played to keep him out the side
“We’ve always said that Boly would be the number one choice at centre-back, but as people come in, there’s opportunities which arise, and Kilman’s done that. He’s played really well, he’s looked composed, defended well, he’s been able to get blocks on, so credit to him for the way he’s gone.
“You can see the kind of side Bruno wants, he’s settled with his side and he’s happy with the performances he’s got from his team. We’ve just got to score goals, and that is always going to be the hard part.”
On the signing of Hee Chan Hwang
Spiers said: “He’s a bit of an unknown quantity in terms of what he’s done at the top level of European football. If Wolves were signing him 18 months ago when they originally wanted to, when he was with Salzburg in Austria, there would’ve been a much bigger amount of excitement with what this player could do.
“The amount of goals and assists he got, his partnership with Erling Haaland as well, which has gone underreported, with how well he played with him, but his career stagnated a bit in Germany. He’s had a couple of issues with injuries, but Wolves have been tracking this player for some time, and there’s an awful lot of excitement about what he can bring and the options he will bring up front - he can play in a number of different positions and he can be prolific in front of goal.
“Wolves feel they’re getting a real gem, he’s on loan for the season and he’s here primarily as cover for Pedro Neto. Let’s see what he can do.”
Welcome to Wolves, Hee Chan Hwang.— Wolves (@Wolves) September 11, 2021
On getting the three points
Thompson said: “We were just saying that we didn’t actually play that well today, but that’s the game of football. The three games before, we’d played really well, but today was more of a battling performance.
“We dug in because we knew that Watford were going to make it difficult for us, but for the first 15 or 20 minutes, we controlled the game. Watford came into it more, got a few opportunities, and had some good chances in the first-half, but I thought Wolves managed the game really well.
“It was nice to see us putting that pressure on and getting that own goal, because it came from us putting pressure onto the defence of Watford, but you take anything you can. It doesn’t matter who scores when you’ve won the game.”
On still seeing chances going begging
Thompson said: “You’ve got to test the keeper, but you’ve also got to make more of the opportunities you do get. Those two chances of Semedo’s going through, you’ve got to make sure you score them, and we’ve not done that. It would be a concern to me. What is the reason for that? Why are we not scoring them? Are we having too much thinking time? Are they not happy or comfortable in front of the goal?
“For me, sometimes hard and low, hitting it at the goalkeeper is the way to go. Sometimes you’ve just got to put your foot through it. We saw the goal Bully scored here, and he hit it hard and low, there’s no doubt about where it’s going, so you’ve just not to give the keepers a chance.
“But saying that, it would be much more of a concern if they weren’t having opportunities in front of goal, and that’s one of the things we have done.”
After 69 attempts without reward, do we care how that first goal went in?— Wolves (@Wolves) September 12, 2021
No. No, we don't.
On Hwang and Podence’s impact
Thompson said: “We know Podence can do that [cross for second]. He’s got the quality where he can just dink it to the far post and into a really dangerous position for Watford. They’re running back, they know there’s a player there, and they’re at sixes and sevens with each other and they just couldn’t defend it and Hee Chan Hwang got a touch to it in the end – and he’s leading goalscorer for Wolves now!
“He’s in the right place at the right time, and that’s what it’s all about. He’s got that experience and that instinct and showed that he’s hopefully going to be a massive plus for us this year, that he can get in the right positions and get a goal.
“I’ve played with strikers who if you ask them why they made a certain run, they couldn’t tell you. It’s just instinctive from them, and I’m hoping he’s going to be one of those because that’s where he’s got his goal from. He’s ended up in the right area and for something like that, you can’t coach it.”
You can watch Matchday Live Extra 30 minutes before every Wolves kick-off this season, on Twitter and on Wolves TV, before heading over to the Wolves App following full-time for all the post-match reaction.