HomePremier LeagueWolves get Hwang boost as South Korean returns for Forest trip

Wolves get Hwang boost as South Korean returns for Forest trip

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Wolves have been handed a major boost with the news that Hwang Hee-chan will be part of their matchday squad for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Nottingham Forest.

Hwang has been sidelined for around six weeks, since sustaining a hamstring injury in Wolves’ FA Cup fifth-round victory over Brighton and Hove Albion in late February.

He remains Wolves’ leading scorer in the Premier League this season, with his 10 league goals for 2023-24 – which all came before the turn of the year – more than he managed in his first two campaigns with the club combined (eight).

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Wolves have been seriously depleted up front in recent weeks, having to deploy left wing-back Rayan Ait-Nouri as a makeshift attacker with Matheus Cunha and Pedro Neto also sidelined by hamstring issues.

While Neto will not return until the season’s closing weeks, Cunha has come off the bench in Wolves’ last two games, and he could be reunited with Hwang when Gary O’Neil’s team visit the City Ground on Saturday.

O’Neil also confirmed Craig Dawson is available after recovering from a groin problem, while Ait-Nouri should be fit after taking a knock in last week’s 2-1 loss to West Ham.

“Hee-chan is in the matchday squad, which is fantastic for us. Cunha is still fine, Dawson too,” O’Neil said on Friday.

“It’s probably too early for [Jean-Ricner] Bellegarde. Rayan will travel with the group, he’s had a minor issue, but I envisage him being part of the matchday squad.”

Earlier this week, O’Neil was charged by the Football Association over his behaviour following Wolves’ defeat to the Irons, who benefitted from a contentious VAR intervention as Max Kilman saw a potential stoppage-time equaliser chalked off for offside against Tawanda Chirewa.

O’Neil described the decision as “scandalous”, while Wolves chairman Jeff Shi called for the Premier League to review officiating standards in order to “uphold the integrity” of the competition.

O’Neil has been accused of “improper and/or threatening” behaviour around the match officials’ changing room in the aftermath of Wolves’ defeat. While he refused to be drawn on his charge on Friday, he reiterated that refereeing standards must improve.

“It’s probably best for me not to comment on the charge until the process is complete,” O’Neil said.

“Then I’ll be happy to discuss openly what has gone on from the start to the finish. It’s best for me to not discuss the charge.

“It’s not just our club, but I think you can feel it nationally in the whole of the league, there has been a lot of disappointment and frustration with how decisions have gone.

“It’s not all bad. There have been some really good calls, but not only at Wolves, there is a desire from everyone for the standard to improve.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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