Hwang Hee-chan’s strike sees off Watford to get Wolves up and running

Bruno Lage was especially pleased to see the debutant Hwang Hee-chan get off the mark as his Wolves side claimed their first goal, points and victory of the season in a 2-0 win at Watford.

The defender Francisco Sierralta headed the ball into his own net to give Wolves the lead after 74 minutes, before the substitute Hwang bundled the ball over the line to double his side’s lead late on.

Lage said: “It was very good for him, but the way he came for us, that was my feeling from the first day. I heard every time good things about Wolves, about the way that the people received the staff and the players, the way the staff received the young players, everything was about it being a good environment.

“It happened to me when I arrived three months ago and it happened with him. He was welcomed because he is a good player and he is a top player and it is important for us to have this kind of player.

“For me as a manager that’s what I say every time, we need these top players to manage the game the way we want to play.”

The South Korea international was thrown in at the deep end, Lage conceded. “We didn’t have too much time to train with him. He arrived after a 16-hour flight on Thursday so we didn’t have a lot of time, but I know of him since Benfica because I followed his career from the time he went to Austria and then to Germany.

“On Thursday he just trained for 30 minutes because of the flight. Yesterday we prepared the game and he saw videos of the good things we did in attack, the good things that we did in our defending, the way we press.

“It’s good for him to start with a goal. He needs to continue giving what he did today.”

Watford had won their opening game against Aston Villa but have since suffered back-to-back defeats and Xisco Muñoz admitted they need to improve in a number of aspects. Sierralta made a costly error for the first goal from a Fernando Marçal corner; the Chile international had been a doubt for the game after he missed international duty over the last week, with his country asking for the defender to be banned.

“This is a problem,” Xisco said of the soft goals. “What we need to improve is at both sides. Not only in defence, but in offence. If we want to win points, it’s important to improve in both areas.”

When asked if the defeat was a wake-up call, he said: “We know about this, I don’t think it’s a surprise. We need to know about the situation and it’s important that we have this ability, everyone has the ability and tries to improve ourselves, the team and squad.

“This is our amazing goal this season. We know we spoke about this before and I know it’s difficult to take points at this level.”