Wolverhampton Wanderers finally got their season up and running with a 2-0 away win against Watford yesterday.
They rallied in the second half, forcing an own goal from the hosts and a goal from new signing Hwang Hee-chan.
The South Korean was brought off the bench to great affect by Wolves’ head coach Bruno Lage. During his post-match interview, he explained why he made the changes.
Lage told the official Wolves website: “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.”
He also explained why he made his second substitution – Daniel Podence on for Adama Traore, who was replaced despite impressing at Vicarage Road.
However, the substitution proved pivotal after Podence played a critical part in Wolves’ second goal, scored by Hwang.
Speaking about the changes, Lage stressed the importance of having players in similar positions but with different skillsets.
Lage said: “We changed Adama for Podence and we had more of the possession. Daniel was able to create the second chance.”
Lage shows he has learned from previous mistakes
The head coach has made an impressive start to life at Wolves despite losing the previous three games. That is due to the entertaining brand of football the club have played this season.
That being said, one criticism of the new manager in his relatively new tenure has been his reluctance to make substitutions.
In Wolves’ previous three losses, they had not made an attacking change before the seventieth minute.
This time around, Lage brought Hwang on for Trincao in the 63rd minute. It paid off, Wolves looked refreshed and eventually scored both goals.
The impact of Wolves’ substitutes will give the manager a selection headache ahead of their next game versus Brentford.
This time though, it is for the right reasons.