Wolves manager Bruno Lage has insisted it is ‘a big lie’ that players can’t work well with and without the ball – and pointed to Hwang Hee-chan and Raul Jimensz as players who are great at both.
The 45-year-old sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports over the weekend.
He spoke about a number of subjects.
It is a fascinating read, and provides a real insight into the way he works and what he thinks.
Talk turned at one point to style of play, with Lage explaining why he hasn’t yet changed to a 4-4-2 system.
He also spoke about his desire to see his players press from the front.
Lage believes that is vitally important, but suggests doing so shouldn’t come at the expense of being a goal threat.
He said: “Hwang runs with the ball and without the ball. Raul [Jimenez], the same. These two are a good example. Ruben [Neves], the same. Joao, the same. So, the guys who are 18, 19, 20 years old, who are fit and healthy, why can’t they? When it becomes a habit, it is easy.
“There is a big lie that players use as an excuse. They say, ‘If I run, afterwards I don’t have the power to score’. It is a big lie because Hwang is running when we are defending but also he has the power to score for us. Like Raul, he runs every time. They are the example.”
Hwang is certainly someone that has showcased the ability to press hard.
The industrious South Korean is also currently Wolves’ top scorer with four goals.
Hwang and Jimenez setting the example
Lage is clearly very happy with the two forwards.
Scoring goals isn’t enough for him, it is about working hard out of possession as well.
We saw last weekend the criticism some of the Manchester United players were getting for not pressing Liverpool.
It has become a very important part of the modern game, with many teams now trying to play out from the back.
It’s great to see Hwang and Jimenez not only scoring goals, but doing the dirty work Lage values so much.