Lage | On Neto's recovery, Hwang's form and facing Benitez and Everton

Ahead of Wolves facing Everton on Monday evening, Bruno Lage has provided an injury update on Pedro Neto, as the winger continues his rehabilitation back home in Portugal.

The head coach believes the winger is still quite a far way off in returning to the team in a competitive match, but said the early signs are positive for Neto to be able to re-join the squad in training in ‘five or six weeks’.

But with last season’s top goalscorer on the sidelines, it’s been up to summer signing Hee Chan Hwang to replace the injured 21-year-old, and the Korean has done just that – scoring his fourth in six Premier League games to extend Wolves’ unbeaten top-flight run to four matches.

On Neto’s rehabilitation

“Our doctor went to Portugal on Monday or Tuesday to see Pedro and the good news is that everything is ok with his injury.

“He can continue with his recovery and he can now start to work harder than he has been able to.

“from his point of view, Pedro needs five or six weeks to start training with us and then he needs to do a pre-season, maybe three or four weeks, to work and to be fit to play in this competition, because it’s very hard.

“Maybe in the middle of January we can have him in the stadium to start playing with us.”

On Hwang’s start to life at Wolves

“I’m not surprised because I knew him from the past. It’s not just about the goals he scored, but the work he does. If you look at the work he did at Leeds, it was very important for us, the work he did to control the inside game from Leeds.

“You know they are very strong in that, they put a lot of men behind our midfielders, and him, Raul [Jimenez] and Adama [Traore], it was very important for them to control that.

“It’s not just about the goals, it’s about what he can give in general for the game. But when a player comes and he gives what we want, he scores goals and helps us win points, of course I’m happy with him.”

On Traore’s recent form

“For me as a manager, I need to understand Adama better, how we can do and how we can improve, and also for Adama to understand what we want from him.

“When you look at the first three or four games, Adama did very well; he played outside, he played inside, he created a lot of chances.

“That’s the Adama we want, and we are happy with him.”

On wanting more from his forwards

“That’s what we want from all the guys who are here in the club and all the guys we bring. That’s what I want from Hwang, from Daniel [Podence], from Adama, from Trincao, from Raul and from Fabio [Silva].

“Every time we try to push hard for them because the way we play, they are very important. They are the first guys to defend, to help the team to be compact.

“At the end, if they score goals, it’s good for us because we have points in our game. Even in the moments we have the ball, this is a collective process. When we start the game from our goalkeeper, to link with our defenders and midfielders, and after that, if they score the chances we have, the game is more beautiful for us.

“They know, the guys in front, that they have all the pressure from us because if they score, we are playing well.”

On preparing for the visit of Everton

“When I analyse the opponent, I really don’t care about the result. Sometimes I watch the game without the goals.

“What I can see is that they have an experienced manager and when you look for the team, they are very solid and they have the four guys who play in front, they are guys with a lot of experience. In the moment, any one of them can score any goal.

“I really don’t care about what happened in the last games, because that thing happened with us. We didn’t score any goals in the first three games and after that, we start scoring.

“Every game is a different challenge because in the other competitions, and when I was here before in the Championship, all the teams play the same system, but now every team has their own system, and we need to organise and prepare ourselves for that.

“But that’s why it’s so enthusiastic to work here in the Premier League, because every time we have to understand what the other managers are trying to do against us.”

On testing himself against Benitez

“That’s the big challenge of the Premier League, to compete against these kinds of managers – the best ones.

“If I look ten years ago, I just saw this manager and these players on TV, so now I’m here, playing against them and trying to win the games.

“That’s why, from the first day, I’m thankful for Wolves and for my chairman for giving me the chance to be here and show the best I can do.”